TRURO - Although hundreds of homes and businesses had to be evacuated due to flash flooding in the Truro area on Monday, most of the affected people managed to find places elsewhere in the community to stay overnight, such as with relatives, friends or at area hotels and motels.
The Canadian Red Cross says one of two emergency shelters set up to assist people was able to close at 9 p.m. as none of those evacuated in the Bible Hill area needed to stay overnight.
Another shelter in a church hall on Prince Street in Truro had only seven evacuees spend the night, though dozens more dropped in to receive information updates or to have a safe place to stay until they worked out other arrangements.
The Red Cross is offering additional help after the flood, providing residential cleanup kits at no charge. Each kit includes items such as a pail, mop, sponges, latex gloves, and cleaning and disinfecting products for dealing with minor flood impacts that homeowners or renters can safely clean up themselves. The kits are available from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday at the Canadian Red Cross office at 139 Truro Heights Road.
For additional information about who is eligible, call (902) 895-3894.
Also provided is cleanup advice including what measures individuals can reasonably carry out themselves.
For more extensive damage such as contaminated water or water-saturated plaster, drywall, insulation, flooring, appliances or electrical or heating systems, the Red Cross urges homeowners or landlords to consult qualified professionals such as flood restoration companies, electricians or heating system technicians.
If not addressed promptly and correctly, flood damage can lead to mould and other serious health concerns, pose significant risks including electrical shock, fire or structural collapse and result in substantially increased costs. A flood cleanup brochure can be viewed online, printed or downloaded at redcross.ca/cmslib/general/dm_cr_flood_recovery.pdf .
Walking through flood water indoors or outdoors poses risks from contamination and hidden obstacles. Re-entry to a flooded home or apartment requires caution due to the risk of contamination or structural damage, compromised electrical and other systems and should only be done after local authorities indicate it’s OK to do so.
Authorities can advise on how to properly dispose of damaged household goods and foods, and especially hazardous materials like solvents, cleaning and gardening products or chemicals. Most over-land flooding is not covered by standard insurance in Canada but homeowners and renters should still document damage in writing and with photos or video for potential claims through insurance or disaster financial assistance that may be offered through government.
“Another thing we see after a flood is that people who have seen Red Cross teams in action and want to immediately join us to help others,” said Mona O’Brien, Truro-based supervisor for the Canadian Red Cross in northern Nova Scotia. “We definitely welcome new volunteers but must explain that certain steps have to be taken first including an application and screening process followed by structured training, which we provide at no charge but is mandatory to ensure our disaster volunteers anywhere in Canada meet our national standards and have the same basic skills.”
Within the Atlantic region, the Canadian Red Cross has more than 950 trained disaster volunteers who respond to incidents ranging from community-wide disasters or emergencies to small-scale events like one person or family suddenly losing a home to a fire or flood. Prospective disaster volunteers are encouraged to visit or call the nearest Canadian Red Cross office. Addresses and other contact details are available online at redcross.ca/atlantic. Disaster response operations, including equipment, supplies and volunteer training, are funded by donations.