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2012-06-01 at 15:30

Construction Associations has 20 members ready to clean uninsured homes at no cost

By Jamie Smith,
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The city is furthering its recovery efforts after this week’s flood.

Officials now estimate nearly 700 homes were flooded but say the number is likely much higher than that. The Thunder Bay Construction Association has 20 of its 214 business members on board to start professionally cleaning uninsured homes that were flooded at no cost. There are already 84 homeowners who have asked for the service.

“It’s quite a logistic task to get these people out there,” construction association head Harold Lindstrom said.

Thunder Bay Fire and Rescue will also help with the cleanup along with a Mennonite disaster team from Manitoba.

“What we’re trying to encourage is for people not to cleanup themselves and that’s why we want to employ as many qualified people to go in and clean it up,” city manager Tim Commisso said.

The Red Cross and Salvation Army are increasing their efforts as well. More than 50 Red Cross volunteers from the city and province have been going door-to-door to assess people’s needs. Nearly all of the 100 homes still without power or gas have been visited and the Red Cross will now start handing out clean up and comfort kits to people.

“Our role right now is to ensure that we can help them get the specific aid they need in regards to cleaning up and offering those services to the most vulnerable,” spokesman David St. Georges said.

The Red Cross has set up an information centre at St. Peter’s Church. Around 40 people have registered at the agency’s shelter at Neebing Arena with more expected.

The Salvation Army has been travelling nearly 100 kilometres of roads with its mobile feeding trucks, handing out more than 460 meals Thursday alone.

“This is very much a disaster situation and it’s not decreasing in fact it is increasing,” acting mayor Coun. Rebecca Johnson said. “This is affecting the whole community. This is not in one area.”

Johnson stressed the need for people to use the city’s centralized relief operations rather than trying to get or give help on their own. Some initiative, although made with good intentions, have actually cost the city time because it’s had to inspect some operations that weren’t going through the central service.

“It’s taking our time and we can use that time in better ways,” she said.

As for the Atlantic Avenue treatment plant, the main pumping station is now dry enough that motors have been removed in order to dry them out and start servicing them. While more relief has been seen in the city sewers, it’s still not enough to remove the water conservation request.

That will have to wait until the pumping station is back to capacity, which is still unknown. Also unknown still is where the breach at the station is. The city thinks it might be somewhere in an older part of the plant.

“We’re getting closer. We know that the breach is not in the end of the plant we’re currently working on,” city infrastructure manager Darrell Matson said.

Public meetings will be held Saturday at 2p.m. at the Slovak Legion and 4 p.m. at the Moose Hall.


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Johnny says:
The city likes to take credit for all their efforts in cleaning it up, News Flash.... it is their city and responsibility!!
6/1/2012 3:34:39 PM
crazyforweed says:
way to go to those construction crews as well as clean up crews doing this for $0 ! that's more helpfull than anything else in a time like this ! good to hear!
6/1/2012 3:43:19 PM
gusto says:
Why does every story have an acting mayor speaking for our city? Where the hell is the real mayor?
6/1/2012 4:06:13 PM
Janie says:
He was here earlier in the week, but he is now in Toronto for surgery (from what I've heard).
6/1/2012 4:26:18 PM
jb says:
recovering from surgery
6/1/2012 5:03:50 PM
Glyder says:
Having surgery from what I understand. What's the problem with that? And, its not EVERY story, its the 2nd in 1 week. Last weekend he was in the States, but when the flood occurred he got home ASAP.

Do you have people up your ass every time you take medical leave or a vacation?
6/1/2012 5:05:37 PM
Gord says:
He had surgery scheduled. Maybe listen the news once in a while
6/1/2012 9:33:35 PM
TBDR says:
In surgery, as was reported in the media a couple days ago.
6/1/2012 10:39:32 PM
panzerIV says:
He just came out of a surgery. Couldn't delay it was important he had it done. He is ok from what I heard
6/2/2012 12:16:57 AM
sky high says:
Our real mayor has a much busier life than you do and so he asks someone to speak on his behalf sometimes. They are are Mr. Hobbs words, but unlike you he doesn't have time to sit online and make maudlin comments all day long.
6/2/2012 8:16:37 AM
gusto says:
LOL, maudlin...did you have to look up that word in the dictionary to appear smarter than you really are? I would think that in our time of need, when our city needs strong leadership and our citizens need support, the mayor would have canceled his surgery and been here for the people. I'm sorry but unless it was emergency surgery, it should have waited. But then again, why should our top elected official be around when his city is a disaster area?
6/2/2012 6:02:53 PM
TBDR says:
oh really? Did you know that if you cancel a surgery at the last minute you go back to the bottom of the wait list? Did you know that many elective surgeries are still important ones? Did you know that by the time many elective surgeries happen, the patients can't afford to wait much longer?
6/3/2012 12:44:05 AM
vimeo says:
Cleanup continues? Geeesh, for a minute I thought the city turfed Commisso.
6/1/2012 4:16:04 PM
young&concerned says:
I was hopeful to when I saw the title/photo! Then no reference to Hobbs in all of this...just "acting mayors". I thought he was out/gone! This whole disaster would have turn in to a blessing for the city.
6/2/2012 9:07:24 AM
hopper says:
Not one of us voted this clown into his job.
6/3/2012 2:27:08 AM
westfort resident says:
Mayor Hobbs is in a Toronto hospital for surgery that was booked months ago.
6/1/2012 6:50:13 PM
Mike says:
The real mayor is recovering in hospital after surgery, so nice of you to ask.
6/1/2012 7:28:20 PM
wayne says:
I believe that Hobbs is in Toronto having surgery, not sure though. I'm not a Hobbs supporter, but cut him some slack.

Anyway, kudos to the City, Red Cross, Salvation Army, the Mennonite Disaster Team from Manitoba, the Construction Association and its members and all those other organizations, fundraisers, media, businesses, and citizens helping out. I hope and pray that pets are also being helped.

The seeds of community spirit are sown from this tragedy. God Bless
6/1/2012 8:04:56 PM
stiffedbybucky says:
Where is the real mayor....he had we know his personal schedule. Heads should roll over this.
6/1/2012 10:40:29 PM
young&concerned says:
"Mr Met" seems to be in every photo regarding the city and the flooding!
6/2/2012 8:58:50 AM
Johnny says:
He must have had some bad sushi on his FREE trip to Asia!! @ our tax dollar, just saying
6/2/2012 9:41:24 AM
Johnny says:
Bring back Lynn Peterson!!
6/2/2012 10:24:42 AM
anvil of crom says:
I leave attribute this outcry and wanting to strangle the mayor and manager as a "knee jerk reaction" ( more a reaction from jerks ) This was an unpredictable 80 year event of a storm people, an act of god or nature as they put it.
So the mayor heads south for a specialty router rooter job and people are jumping mad?
grow up!

6/2/2012 11:01:03 AM
cityisgreat says:
you guys need to chill out and stop blaming the mayor...and everyone want someone to blame, blame mother nature...doesn't do much good does it...instead of about you get your ass down there are help out...the "government" will never be able to be all things to all people....nor will anyone ever be able to make everyone happy..they are trying there best...if that is not good for you..then run for mayor or shut your trap...
6/2/2012 8:06:00 PM
hopper says:
Why is Commisso up there answering questions, WE didn't vote him in. The city just built a state of the art plant and did NOT account for a 75-100 year flood? They did not have the ability to bypass the plant, yet days later were pumping raw sewage from street manholes into the floodway? Raw sewage! Had a LOT of rainfall with more called for yet had NO one sitting at the plant, not even a security guard? Something stinks here, and it's NOT just our homes!!!!!!!!!!!!
6/3/2012 2:22:27 AM
Circular_Logic says:
Mr. Hobbs deserves no criticism from posters here with respect to his private health care problems. I'm frankly surprised at how many appear to be aware of his issues at all!

Regarding the plant failure; can someone clarify whether the plant was built below grade? If so then how and why that occurred should be investigated. I am reminded of Walkerton and the inquiry that followed the water supply issue there. It appears on the surface as if somebody was asleep at the switch here at the very least.

I think we need an impartial inquiry to investigate and make recommendations. It would also be useful to know whether the City Infrastructure Insurance will cover the necessary repairs.

I looked at my most recent water bill and the ongoing 'sewer charge'; let's hope we don't see that increase even further.

As for the proposed Multiplex, let's HEAR NO MORE OF IT until the results of the flood are dealt with and the infrastructure repaired! Commisso et al have bigger fish to fry
6/3/2012 8:48:11 PM
ThunderBayFullOfCrime says:
This is not Hobb's fault. He did not have the plant built, he did not schedule the workers there, he is not responsible. He had surgery which people don't choose, he needed it. It's a combination of many things that caused the flooding.
1-Mother nature
2-A plant that was below grade
3-No readiness plan in case of disaster
4-No backup plant
5-Old sewer lines

Our city collapsed in crisis because we are not ready here if the worst happens. Don't blame the mayor. I'm just as angry as the next person but this is a time for action, time to fix things and get ready just in case bad things happen again. Our world is changing, and not for the better, so we have to be prepared because next time, people may lose their lives.
6/5/2012 1:26:40 AM
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