THUNDER BAY – Last night’s rain has not made things more difficult for the City of Thunder Bay’s pumping station. The Emergency Operations Control Group was updated on the progress at the Atlantic Avenue Water Pollution Control Plant due to the rain in Friday’s forecast, as well as information from City Clerk John Hannam on the establishment of the Disaster Relief Fund Committee.
“The plant performed well overnight, and we had additional staff on standby to monitor the sewer system due to the overnight rain that could have put some added strain on our efforts,” said Darrell Matson, General Manager – Infrastructure & Operations, adding that a third motor will be re-installed today.
“We thank everyone for their water conservation efforts and ask that they continue reducing their use over the weekend and wait for a further announcement on Monday,” Matson said. “Everyone’s efforts are making a difference and are appreciated by the team working on the plant and affected homeowners across the city.”
City Clerk John Hannam gave an overview of the the upcoming appointment of the Disaster Relief Fund Committee that will take place at City Council on Monday night.
“We have been in contact with several people across the city to take part in this committee, and Council will make their selections on Monday night,” said Hannam.
“The next step will be to get the appointed members together, to provide information and plan for the claims process, and be up and running.”
Safe Home Clean-up Program: About 502 homeowners have registered for clean-up assistance as of today through the Safe Home clean-up program through the City’s Facilities & Fleet Department, working with contractors, the Mennonite Disaster Team, Samaritan’s Purse and qualified volunteers.
Initial contact has been made with all 502 homes, though the City is waiting for call-backs from about one third of the homes and is making further contact attempts.
The focus of the ongoing clean-up is on making homes safe and to address health issues. 152 homes have been assisted with more scheduled for today.
Uninsured homeowners can also receive assistance with damaged hot water tanks and furnaces through this program.
Affected residents, especially those with no insurance, who need help with clean-up are asked to call 98 FLOOD [983-5663].
Registration with the Red Cross: Approximately 900 people have registered with The Canadian Red Cross.
Those currently left most vulnerable by the flooding events can receive extended relief through The Canadian Red Cross Registration and Assessment Centres. Locations and times are as follows:
• St. Peter’s Church, 10 am – 6 pm
• Moose Hall, 10 am – 6 pm
• Confederation College McIntyre Building, 1 pm – 6 pm
There are also showers available at Lakehead Universty in the South Residence in the Schreider Building. Those interested can check in at the front desk. The shower service is available from 8 am to 12 midnight.
Anyone affected by the flood is encouraged to register with The Canadian Red Cross by calling 98 FLOOD (983-5663) and selecting option 2.
Take Care After Flood: The Thunder Bay District Health Unit reminds affected residents to be safe during clean-up efforts by adhering to the following tips:
• Get medical attention if any unusual physical symptoms are noticed, ie. rashes, difficulty breathing, rapid heart rate, fever
• Use chemicals and bleach according to instructions. Wear protective clothing to avoid direct contact with cleaning products and contaminated water
• Lift heavy objects with a straight back instead of bending at the waist. Only lift objects with a weight that can be managed and take extra care on wet surfaces
Visit www.tbdhu.com for more tips.
Free Calling to 98 FLOOD: Tbaytel is offering free calling to 98 FLOOD (983-5663) from its Millennium Pay Phones within the city. These pay phones are the units with the scrolling displays.
To place a call to 98 FLOOD (983-5663), a customer does not have to deposit coins but if one does the coins will be returned.
Claims Will Take Time: Now that Thunder Bay has been declared a disaster area, the next step is for the soon-to-be-appointed Disaster Relief Committee to begin fundraising and focusing on claims.
“The claims process will take time,” said John Hannam, City Clerk. “A claim form is not available yet but we will make an announcement on the claims process as the Disaster Relief Committee gets under way.” The Disaster Relief Committee will be appointed by City Council on Monday, June 11. When forms are available, an announcement will be posted at Thunderbay.ca/flood.
Affected residents without insurance or inadequate coverage can get ready to make a claim by documenting damages: prepare lists; take pictures of damaged property; keep a diary; maintain receipts, invoices and estimates.
Donations are being accepted at the City’s Cashiers at Victoriaville Civic Centre, 111 Syndicate Ave. S., and will be held in trust while the Fund is established.