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Lakehead University Offers Place to Stay

June 4, 2012, 10 am – Lakehead University will soon open its doors to residents affected by the City Flood Emergency.

“We immediately offered the Neebing Arena as a place where people could go for temporary accommodation, in large part because it didn’t use the City’s sanitation system,” said Acting Mayor Rebecca Johnson. “With almost 500 requests for assistance, it will take some time to clean homes and people need other, longer-term housing options.

“We really appreciate the accommodation provided by LU. We want to encourage people to leave their homes if they have a flooded basement. The longer families stay in a flooded home the more chance their health will be impacted,” Acting Mayor Johnson said.

Today Lakehead University announced it will make approximately 160 beds and full meal service available to those who need it. The Canadian Red Cross will coordinate placing people in these accommodations.

“We want people to feel as comfortable as possible during this tough time and opening up our residences is part of our commitment to the community,” said Dr. Brian Stevenson, President of Lakehead University. “We are already providing housing for over two dozen people affected by the flood and 300 individuals working for restoration companies cleaning and restoring water damaged homes and basements.”

Also on Monday, Police Chief JP Levesque gave an update on the consequences of theft.

“The Crown Attorney’s Office has said it will vigorously prosecute any instances of theft or looting,” Levesque said. “There have been a couple of instances of theft from yards; we’ve increased our walking and mobile patrols to areas where that has occurred. We haven’t seen any further incidents since we stepped up patrols.”

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 progress will be hampered if we get a large amount of rainfall.

“We’re optimistic in getting one motor running today, although it will take a lot of coordination to make that happen,” Matson said.

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.

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 
  • Full meal service will no longer be provided at the Church. 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, The Canadian Red Cross (information about how to donate is under Key Contact Numbers) or the new City of Thunder Bay Flood Assistance Fund that is expected to be established on Monday in keeping with the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program (ODRAP). 
  • 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

Disaster Assistance

Acting Mayor Johnson will ask City Council tonight to immediately take the next step to get ready for disaster assistance from other levels of government including establishing a new Disaster Assistance Committee comprised of local members to be appointed by Council. The Committee will administer a City of Thunder Bay Disaster Relief Fund for those who are uninsured from losses. This will go to Council tonight and will be implemented as soon as a disaster area has been declared for Thunder Bay by the Province. An announcement will be made when application forms are available. The Committee will also be involved in raising funds for the Relief Fund to complement the efforts of Red Cross and Salvation Army.

Clean-up Program

About 460 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. The City will also be looking to provide additional resources for immediate clean up given the number of people who need immediate help.

Thunder Bay Hydro has reconnected 51 of the 118 homes that were without power as a result of the flood, leaving 67 disconnected as of today.

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

Tbaytel has various programs in place to assist their customers impacted by the flood. Affected customers are asked to call 623-4400 for assistance.

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].

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 mold. 
  • 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.

Roads and Trail Repairs

The City has re-opened all roads and trails, although repairs on trails are ongoing.

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 
  • 12:30 pm, 6:30 pm – University Drive & Sherbrooke 
  • 1 pm, 7 pm – Vale Community Centre, 420 Vale Avenue

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.

*Hours at St. Peter’s Church have been increased and breakfast has been discontinued due to lack of use.

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 ( 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
  • Insurance Bureau of Canada – 1-800-387-2880  ext. 4700 – for information about insurance policies, Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm
  • 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 daily EOC meetings and as required.


Contact: Brandon Walker, Communications Officer, 625-2438