Clean-up is the priority and we expect another busy week – Thunder Bay Mayor Hobbs

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Mayor HobbsTHUNDER BAY – Another busy week is shaping up for recovery from the flood emergency, Mayor Keith Hobbs said today.

Affected residents are reminded to get their garbage out to the curb for the special collection that is ongoing with efforts stepped up today since there is no regular waste collection on Mondays. As well, clean-up work is ongoing through the Safe Homes program led by the City’s Facilities & Fleet Department with qualified contractors and volunteers, the Mennonite Disaster Team and Samaritan’s Purse.

“Clean-up is the priority and we expect another busy week,” said Mayor Keith Hobbs. “We are also seeing signs we’re heading in the right direction.”

Red Cross has registered approximately 1,000 households and is starting to scale back its services due to a decrease in demand. Similarly, the Salvation Army is seeing reduced use of its food and water service with only 27 individuals having lunch and dinner on Sunday.

Tonight, eight individuals will be appointed by City Council to the Disaster Relief Committee that will fundraise and focus on claims for residents affected by the flood who either don’t have insurance or have inadequate coverage.

City Clerk John Hannam reminds residents affected by the flood that the claims process will take some time. “A claim form is not available yet. We will make an announcement on the claims process as the Disaster Relief Committee gets under way,” Hannam said.

In keeping with the commitment made at the June 2 public meetings, the City is holding another set of public meetings on Saturday, June 23. Meetings will include an update and questions & answers followed by an opportunity to pickup claim forms and ask specific questions. Meetings held as follows:

Slovak Legion, 801 Atlantic Avenue, 1 to 2:30 pm

Moose Hall, 434 Fort William Road, 4 to 5:30 pm

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.

When claim forms are available, an announcement will be made and posted at Thunderbay.ca/flood.

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. Only donations to the Disaster Relief Committee Fund will be matched by the Province.

Facilities Update

If the re-commissioning of two more pumps succeeds today, the City will revisit the water restrictions and could re-open the Canada Games Complex, Churchill Pool and Volunteer Pool on Tuesday. Tuesday marks two weeks that the pools have been closed.

“We hope residents will continue to monitor their water use,” said Acting Mayor Rebecca Johnson. “As time progresses we’re getting closer to it being business as usual, but we are not quite there yet. We’re going to gradually return to offering the services that people expect, such as swimming and fitness.”

The re-commissioning of these two large pumps will bring the plant a step closer to full pumping capacity, said Kerri Marshall, Manager of the Environment. If all goes well, there will be four pumps running at the Water Pollution Control Plant by Monday night.

Safe Home Clean-up Program

About 510 homeowners have now registered for clean-up assistance 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 510 homes, though the City is waiting for call-backs from about one third of the homes and continues to provide the appropriate follow up. The focus of the ongoing clean-up is on making homes safe and to address health issues. There have been 152 homes assisted with more scheduled for today.

“Uninsured homeowners that require assistance with damaged hot water tanks and furnaces are encouraged to call the flood line to request help,” said Michael Smith, General Manager – Facilities and Fleet.

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

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