15:15EDT June 3 2012 – Thunder Bay Flood and Recovery Update


Thunder BayTHUNDER BAY – Acting Mayor Rebecca Johnson applauded the work of St. Peter’s Church members and the Volunteer Group as they outlined their plans to transition relief services and work more closely with The Canadian Red Cross and The Salvation Army. “In tough times, people help each other in amazing ways and we’ve seen that since this emergency began,” said Acting Mayor Johnson. “They should be congratulated for their incredible effort and energy.”

Volunteer organizer Lisa French outlined the transition plan. “As of now we have met our short term goal of providing immediate emergency assistance to all flood victims in need, “ French said. “We are now ready to move on to our long term objective which will be gradually transitioning our services to The Canadian Red Cross and The Salvation Army.”

The following changes will begin today at the Church:

• Reduction of Church hours to following: 9-11 am and 2-5 pm

• Full meal service will no longer be provided at the Church. The Salvation Army meal van will serve food throughout the day (times under Food and Water) and the Church will continue providing coffee and light snacks in the basement

• Donations will continue being distributed to people in need from the remaining supply, although the Church will no longer accept donations. Monetary donations can be made to The Salvation Army, The Canadian Red Cross or the new City of Thunder Bay Flood Assistance Fund that is expected to be established on Monday in keeping with the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program (ODRAP).

• Volunteers will continue providing information to affected residents by working closely with the City’s Emergency Operations Control Group. Representatives from the Salvation Army, the Red Cross and the Northwest Community Care Access Centre will also provide information at the Church

“We would like to thank our volunteers, everyone who donated their time, money, energy and love to the people affected by this disaster,” French said.

“We would also like to thank the people of the East End for graciously welcoming us into your community and allowing us to be a part of your lives during this crisis. Finally, we’d like to thank the Roman Catholic Diocese of Thunder Bay, especially Father Terry – the saving grace for all of us,” French said.

Plant Update: “Progress is being made at the Secondary Sewage Treatment Plant to allow for assessment and repairs to the main pumping station,” said Darrell Matson, General Manager – Infrastructure & Operations. “The temporary pumping station is working well but if we get a large amount of rainfall progress will be hampered. Today the City is formulating a plan to start one of the main pumps on Monday. Additional work was required over the last 24 hours to prepare for start up,” Matson said.

The City requests that residents and businesses across the City continue to minimize the amount of water being flushed or sent down drains in order to reduce the strain on the sewage plant.

Disaster Assistance Funding: Acting Mayor Johnson will ask City Council on Monday, June 4, to immediately take the next step to get ready for disaster assistance funding from other levels of government including establishing a new Disaster Assistance Committee comprised of local members to be appointed by Council. The Committee will administer a City of Thunder Bay Disaster Relief Fund for those who are uninsured from losses. The Committee will also be involved in raising funds for the Relief Fund to complement the efforts of Red Cross and Salvation Army.

Clean-up Program: About 450 homeowners have registered for clean-up assistance as of today through the volunteer clean-up program through the Construction Association of Thunder Bay, the City’s Construction Services Division within the Facilities & Fleet Department. Thunder Bay Fire Rescue Service and the Mennonite Disaster Team are also providing cleanup assistance. The focus will be on making homes safe and to address health issues.

Thunder Bay Hydro has reconnected 51 of the 118 homes that were without power as a result of the flood, leaving 67 disconnected as of today.

Affected residents, especially those with no insurance, who need help with clean-up are asked to call 98 FLOOD [983-5663].

Tbaytel has various programs in place to assist their customers impacted by the flood. Affected customers are asked to call 623-4400 for assistance.

If residents are concerned about living in a flood-damaged household, they are encouraged to seek shelter or services such as showers and food at the flood evacuation shelter at Neebing Arena. Transportation to the Neebing Arena will be made available by visiting the Fire command post at St. Peter’s Church, 700 McIntosh Street, or by calling 98 FLOOD [983-5663].

Special Sunday Transit Service: To accommodate people in need, Transit is providing modified East End Route bus service today, starting at City Hall and running every 40 minutes through the East End from 9 am until 6 pm.

Open Monday to Saturday, from 10 am to 5 pm, CAM Clothing Assistance is always looking for volunteers. CAM is at 404 May St. N.

Clean Up Tips from Thunder Bay District Health Unit:

Residents should:
• Keep children and pets away from flood water and sewage. Avoid contact with sewage as much as possible.
• Be sure flood water has been pumped out of affected area before cleaning up.
• Wear rubber gloves, rubber boots and goggles during cleanup for personal protection.
• Remove contaminated items for garbage pick up that cannot be washed and disinfected (such as drywall, insulation, mattresses, carpeting, carpet padding, rugs, upholstered furniture, cosmetics, stuffed animals, baby toys, pillows, books, etc.).
• Clean all hard surfaces (floors, concrete, wood, metal) with hot water and detergent.
• Disinfect surfaces with bleach and water solution: one cup of household bleach to a bucket of water.
• Dry out flood-affected surfaces with fans and dehumidifiers to prevent mould.
• Look after themselves by washing hands after clean up, prior to eating, etc. The Health Unit and the City encourage those doing flood clean up to use soap and water for hand cleaning.

Roads and Trail Repairs: The City has re-opened all roads and trails, although repairs on trails are ongoing.

Food and Water – Revised schedule:

Two Salvation Army vans will provide lunch and dinner daily at the following locations and times for an estimated 15 minutes each:

• 11 am, 5 pm – Ontario & Second Street
• 11:30 am, 5:30 pm – Spofford & Ontario Street
• 12:30 pm, 6:30 pm – University Drive & Sherbrooke
• 1 pm, 7 pm – Vale Community Centre, 420 Vale Avenue

And for an estimated two hours at:
• 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, 5:30 to 7:30 pm – St. Peter’s Church, 700 McIntosh Street, Parking Lot
• As well, the truck will travel McIntosh to the Church at 11 am and 5 pm.

Hours at St. Peter’s Church have been increased and breakfast has been discontinued due to lack of use.

Waste Collection: Given the flood emergency, the Solid Waste and Recycling Facility on Mapleward Road is open today, 8 am to 4:30 pm.

To assist residents and business affected by the flood, the City of Thunder Bay is also offering:

• no limit on number of bags for garbage collection until further notice.
• special, free of charge large rubbish collection is available by calling 625-2195 for service [also available Saturday and Sunday].

Get Help/Need Help: The Emergency Operations Control Group has setup a dedicated phone line (98 FLOOD, 983-5663) and email (flood@thunderbay.ca) to handle the many requests from residents who need help or from those, including businesses, who are offering help.

The Red Cross with help from the Salvation Army and other partners are continuing direct contact with affected residents.

The City and the SPCA Animal Shelters can accommodate a limited number of pets for those flood victims who need to relocate from their homes during the clean up. Call 98 FLOOD or email flood@thunderbay.ca for more information.

Facilities Update:The following facilities remain closed until further notice: the Canada Games Complex, Churchill and Volunteer Pools, the 55 Plus Centres and the West Thunder Community Centre.

Key contact numbers:

• City contact for offers of assistance and requests for help – 98 FLOOD [983-5663] or flood@thunderbay.ca
• To donate to the Thunder Bay Flood Fund – 1-800-SAL-ARMY, or to the Canadian Red Cross – 1-800-418-1111
• For more information – www.thunderbay.ca/flood
• Thunder Bay Hydro – 343-1111 or after hours 343-1002 – for electrical problems or concerns
• Infrastructure & Operations – 625-2195 – to report flooding or for questions or concerns about City roads and other City infrastructure
• Insurance Bureau of Canada – 1-800-387-2880 ext. 4700 – for information about insurance policies, Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm
• Ministry of Transportation – 511 – for information about provincially-owned highways
• 211 for general information and details on reception centre
• 911 should only be called if there is an emergency

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