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City Government

Getting Ready for Thunder Bay Disaster Relief Fund


June 5, 2012, 10 am – Following on City Council’s decision Monday night to create a Thunder Bay Disaster Fund and contribute an initial $500,000 once the Province declares a disaster, affected residents are reminded that the application process is being developed and an announcement will be made when forms are available.

In the meantime, affected residents without insurance or inadequate coverage can get ready to make a claim to the Disaster Relief Fund, when established. Affected residents should document the damages by preparing a list and taking pictures of damaged property, keep a diary, maintain receipts, invoices and estimates.

“The City is getting ready for the announcement from that the Province has declared Thunder Bay a disaster area for the flood emergency, which is required before we can formally create the Thunder Bay Disaster Relief Fund” said Mayor Keith Hobbs, who is sharing duties with Acting Mayor Rebecca Johnson during recovery from surgery. “We are asking affected residents to be patient as we take the necessary steps to set up the fund and to document their losses.”

The resolution included the establishment of a Disaster Relief Committee. Operating independently from Council, the committee will continue to raise funds for flood victims, which are expected to be matched 2:1 by the Province. The Disaster Relief Committee will also take in claims and, following guidelines, issue payouts to residents.

Registration with Red Cross

Those currently left most vulnerable by the flooding events can receive extended relief through the Red Cross Registration and Assessment Centres. These Centres continue to be a successful strategy in meeting the community needs. Currently the Centres are located in St. Peter’s Church basement and at Confederation College. Hours of operation are from 9 am – 7 pm daily, with transportation options available by calling 98 FLOOD.

Accommodations

Lakehead University has opened its doors to residents affected by the City Flood Emergency. LU has made approximately 160 beds and full meal service available to those who need it. The Canadian Red Cross will coordinate placing people in these accommodations.

Clean-up Program

About 460 homeowners have registered for clean-up assistance as of today through the volunteer clean-up program with the Construction Association of Thunder Bay, the City, Thunder Bay Fire Rescue Service and the Mennonite Disaster Team (who arrived Monday night). On Monday, 14 homes were cleaned through the program with the number expected to grow as the clean-up transitions from solely a volunteer program to include paid contractors, said Michael Smith, General Manager – Facilities & Fleet.

The focus is on making homes safe and to address health issues.

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

Plant Update

“The pump and motor started yesterday is performing well and we expect a second pump to be placed into operation late this evening.” said Darrell Matson, General Manager – Infrastructure & Operations.

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.

Facilities Update

The 55 Plus Centres and West Thunder Community Centre will reopen tomorrow.

“These City facilities will be matching the water conservation efforts being asked of the public,” said Greg Alexander, General Manager – Community & Emergency Services. “They will take all measures possible to conserve water use.”

The Canada Games Complex, Churchill Pool and Volunteer Pool remain closed until further notice.

Roads and Trail Repairs

The City has re-opened all roads and trails, while a few trails undergo repair. Work on damaged sections of the following recreational trails began at 7am this morning. Below are suggested alternate routes.

  • Trail beside the McIntyre River at the Harbour Expressway between Confederation College and Riverside Drive.
    Suggested Detour: Golf Links Road between Central Ave. and Atikokan Drive into the College.
  • The Neebing McIntyre Floodway trail on the east side of the Balmoral Street Bridge.
    Suggested Detour: William Street between Balmoral and Russell.

St. Peter’s Church

The St. Peter’s Church members and Volunteer Group are transitioning relief assistance to The Canadian Red Cross and The Salvation Army. The following changes began Sunday at the Church:

  • Reduction of Church hours to the following: 9-11 am and 2-5 pm
  • 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 and The Canadian Red Cross (information about how to donate is under Key Contact Numbers)
  • 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

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.

Food and Water

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

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.

Service to University Drive/Sherbrooke and Vale Community Centre has now been discontinued.

Waste Collection

Given the flood emergency, the Solid Waste and Recycling Facility on Mapleward Road is open seven days a week, including from 8 am to 4:30 pm on Sunday.

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 (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.

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
  • CAM Clothing Assistance for low or no cost clothing, linens and some furniture – 474-3583
  • Ministry of Transportation – 511 – for information about provincially-owned highways
  • 211 for all community programs and services
  • 911 should only be called if there is an emergency

Further emergency updates will be issued following daily EOC meetings and as required.

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Contact: Jodi Wright, Acting Communications Officer, 625-2805