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Flood Update: EOC Focus on Helping People


May 31, 2012, 10 am - Progress is being made to prepare the way for a damage assessment at the City’s Atlantic Avenue Secondary Sewage Treatment Plant, and the focus of the Emergency Operations Control Group is on a coordinated effort to help people affected by flooding.
 
“There has been an incredible outpouring of support and it’s important that we coordinate the community’s efforts to make sure help gets where it is needed most,” said Acting Mayor Rebecca Johnson at the 10 am media briefing following this morning’s EOC meeting.
 
Details on the action plan including support from the Thunder Bay Construction Association will be available at Friday morning’s media briefing. Members of the EOC met with Harold Lindstrom, Manager of the Association, this morning to discuss the emergency and he is prepared to make an immediate appeal to his members as well as other qualified construction contractors to provide assistance to residents most in need, particularly those without insurance and/or resources for cleanup. The focus of this work would be on cleanup and making homes safe and to address health issues.
 
Plant Update
“Our efforts to pump out the plant continue 24-hours a day,” said Darrell Matson, General Manager – Infrastructure & Operations, adding that progress has been made pumping rainwater out from the area that flooded. “Damage assessments will start as soon as it’s safe.”
 
Rainwater being removed from sewers is helping reduce water levels in order to get the City closer to assessing damage to the secondary sewage treatment plant. The City is still pleading with residents and businesses across the City to minimize the amount of water being flushed or sent down drains in order to reduce the strain on the sewage plant.
 
“We’ve made some small progress on the plant, but if we get a large amount of rainfall we’ll be back in the same situation as before,” said Kerri Marshall, Manager of the Environment Division. “That’s why it’s important for people and businesses to minimize the amount of water going to the Secondary Sewage Treatment Plant.”
 
Roads and Trail Repairs
The City has re-opened all roads except the Kline Rd. extension at the end, and Pole Line Rd. from the 25th Side Rd. to the end. “These roads are being re-assessed today,” Matson said.
 
Trail repairs are starting under the Harbour Expressway and on the east side of Balmoral Ave. at the floodway.

Food and Water
Two Salvation Army vans will provide breakfast, lunch and dinner daily (with lunch and dinner starting today) at the following locations and estimated times: 

  • 7 am – East End and South High St./Spofford 
  • 8:30 am – Minnesota Park and Northwood areas 
  • 11 am – East End and South High S./Spofford 
  • 12:30 pm – Minnesota Park and Northwood areas 
  • 5 pm – East End and South High/Spofford 
  •  6:30 pm – Minnesota Park and Northwood areas 

Thunder Bay Flood Fund
The Salvation Army and The Canadian Red Cross have launched national appeals to assist residents during this unprecedented flood.
 
Known as the Thunder Bay Flood Fund, the national appeals will help homeowners recoup some of the costs of dealing with this emergency.
 
To donate to the Flood Fund through the Salvation Army call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (725-2769) or visit www.salvationarmy.ca; to donate to the Canadian Red Cross call 1-800-418-1111, or visit www.redcross.ca.
 
Waste Collection
To assist residents and business affected by the flood, the City of Thunder Bay is offering: 

  • No limit on number of bags for garbage collection until further notice.
  • Special, free of charge large rubbish collection service that can be used by calling 625-2195. 

Conserve Water
Residents and businesses across the City are asked to reduce the amount of water being flushed, whenever possible. All water that goes down the drain ends up at the Secondary Sewage Treatment Plant.
 
City tap water is safe to drink [However, the Thunder Bay District Health Unit recommends those on private well water should bring the well water to a rolling boil for one minute before consumption].
 
Get Help/Need Help
The Emergency Operations Control Group has setup a dedicated phone line (98 FLOOD) 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 has initiated direct contact with affected residents today, starting with those whose power has been shut off and the vulnerable populations.
 
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.
 
The short-term reception centre remains in place at the Neebing Arena with transportation available from the staging area at the Slovak Legion, 801 Atlantic Avenue.
 
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 
  • 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

Further emergency updates will be issued following this afternoon’s EOC meeting and as required.
 

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Contact: Brandon Walker, Communications Officer, 625-2438