by Rhonda Massad
It has been a long couple of weeks. Montreal’s state of emergency has shown how a community can rally around each other in the tough times. The biggest question on everyone’s lips who are not manning sump pumps is “how do I help, what can I do?”
According to Megg Ladd of Ile Bizard who is helping a friend battle the flooding.Of course, food, water, and hot coffee are always greatly appreciated… I cannot underscore this enough.
“Of course, food, water, and hot coffee are always greatly appreciated… I cannot underscore this enough,” she explained in a Facebook post. “However it can be tough to get out and buy the above essentials as well. To be honest, most of us feel horribly guilty asking for these types of items, because we know how dependent we already are on the generosity of others. We don’t want to be greedy with your time and your energy because we are already so appreciative.”
According to Ladd, the truth is that water pumps require constant supervision; when a section fails, the established system for clearing water can collapse in a matter of minutes. As a result, many people are homebound even when it appears that they have access to a road. They are up all night, completely attuned to the sound of the pumps and jumping up at any alteration in the noise.
“We spend hours staring at the water, plugging and unplugging pumps and checking gas levels while we try to contain the flood.”
Heather Murray, who resides on Jean Yves in Ile Bizard came to the Food Depot looking for flash lights. Her brother in law is manning the sump pumps and they have run out of light.
“He won’t give up,” Heather said through tears on Wednesday night, “the Army came in and releived him for several hours so he could sleep. The fumes from the gas is another thing we have to be very careful about.”
The nine people who live in Heather’s house have been evacuated while Shawn remains vigiliant protecting the first floor of their home.
Ladd is hoping for extended patience in the days and weeks to come.
“As the water begins to recede, these acts of kindness are going to become all the more important,” she said. “Slowly the panic is starting to subside as collectively we are becoming experts with pumps and sandbags, water and grime. The equipment is in place, blisters and treated and wrapped. Hands are clean and feet are dry. We have food and water and people to remind us to take care of ourselves too. Now, there is suddenly a bit more downtime to think and to start processing our emotions. I can’t be sure yet, but I have a feeling that that is when we will need to lean on your generosity the most. Thank you, genuinely, for everything you have done and continue to do. Know that you are making a difference.”
Tie a blue ribbon to your tree, balcony or lamp post to show solidarity for those living this tragedy.
Meg Ladd offered this list of what supplies are important to flood victims right now:
Polysporin eye drops
Disposable latex gloves
Thick quality hand cream
Hot Paws for boots
**Clean dry socks (these are like Gold)
The Food Depot has relocated to Plaza Pointe Claire as of Thursday, May 11 from 10-6 and will be there through to Saturday at 5 pm. The West Island Mission is on hand to distribute supplies to all the local food banks who are serving those on the front lines.