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City Focus on Disaster Relief & Home Clean-up Program

June 2, 2012, 1:30 pm – Acting Mayor Rebecca Johnson will ask City Council on Monday to immediately take the next step to get ready for disaster assistance funding from other levels of government.

“We have asked the Province to declare Thunder Bay a disaster area under the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program,” said Johnson. “Based on my discussions with the Province we believe that will happen. We will ask Council to immediately establish a committee to administer a Thunder Bay Disaster Relief Fund once the disaster is declared. We are getting ready, understanding that there is an established process we must follow, to get help to affected people as quickly as possible.”

Just over 300 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.

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

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 will provide a modified East End Route bus service on Sunday, June 3, starting at City Hall and running every 40 minutes through the East End from 9 am until 6 pm.

Clothing Assistance 
The Emergency Operations Control Group (EOC) wants to point out the important service provided by CAM Clothing Assistance for people who need clothes and linens.

“Since 2006 this wonderful organization has helped people in need in our community,” said Acting Mayor Rebecca Johnson. “The CAM provides clothes and other items at a low cost or at no cost to anyone who comes in.”

On Saturday, Iron Range offered to transport people between the Slovak Legion and CAM Clothing Assistance to seek these vital necessities.

CAM Clothing Assistance also provides an opportunity for people to help in their own way.

“Anyone can come in and leave a business card, and we’ll call if we need their product or service,” said Lynda Barrie, Vice President of CAM Clothing Assistance.

Truckloads of items started arriving at CAM on Tuesday and have continued to be dropped off since then.

“People have been very generous and we’re running out of room to store these items,” Barrie said.

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.

Public Meetings
Saturday, June 2, 2012
The City of Thunder Bay and members of the City’s Emergency Operations Control Group invite residents affected by the City Flood Emergency to public meetings as follows:

  • Slovak Legion, 801 Atlantic Avenue
    1:30 pm light lunch and refreshments
    2 pm to 3:30 pm – update and questions & answers
  • Moose Hall, 434 Fort William Road
    3:30 pm light lunch and refreshments
    4 pm to 5:30 pm – update and questions & answers

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.

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.

“Two motors for the main sewage pumps have been removed from the drywell area and are being dried and serviced,” Matson said. “One of those is being reinstalled today.”

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.

Roads and Trail Repairs
The City has re-opened all roads except the Kline Rd. extension and trail repairs are ongoing.

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

  • 7 am, 11 am, 5 pm  – Ontario & Second Street
  • 7:30 am, 11:30 am, 5:30 pm – Spofford & Ontario Street
  • 8:30 am, 12:30 pm, 6:30 pm – University Drive & Sherbrooke
  • 9 am, 1 pm, 7 pm – Vale Community Centre, 420 Vale Avenue 
  • 7 am, 11 am, 5 pm – McDonald & McTavish at McNaughton
  • 7:30 am, 11:30, 5:30 pm – McBain, Hargrave, McPherson at Pacific
  • 8:15 am, 12:15 pm, 6:15 pm – Athabasca, Alexandra, Alberta at Atlantic
  • 8:40 am, 12:40 pm, 6:40 pm – McMillan, Minnesota at Pacific

And for an estimated hour at:

  • 9 am, 1 pm, 7 pm – St. Peter’s Church, 700 McIntosh Street, Parking Lot,

Waste Collection
Given the flood emergency, the Solid Waste and Recycling Facility on Mapleward Road will be open on Sunday, June 3, 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/Give Help
The Emergency Operations Control Group has setup a dedicated phone line (98 FLOOD, 983-5663) and email ( 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 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 
  • 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 –
  • 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
  • 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

A further emergency update will be issued following daily EOC meetings and as required.


Contact: Brandon Walker, Communications Officer, 625-2438