After flooding, Ottawa is desperate for 1.5 million sandbags to be removed
CTVNews.ca staff, with a report from CTV Ottawa
Published Sunday, June 2, 2019 8:33PM EDT
Ottawa residents are desperate for help to remove 1.5 million sandbags since flooding levels have died down.
Resident Paul Graveline is grateful that volunteers filled and stacked hundreds of sandbags along Stefan-Bayview Drive to protect his home several weeks ago, but now, he and dozens of Ottawa citizens are in a bind because they don’t need the wall of sandbags anymore.
Graveline only has his son, daughter-in-law and grandson to help him take down the wall and he laments: “this is going to be forever cleaning up.”
In Constance Bay, Ont., -- a rural neighbourhood in Ottawa -- Graveline’s son Paul said “the amount of sandbags that you see behind me is only a fraction of the home.”
The city has put out a call for an army of volunteers to help remove the hundreds of thousands of sandbags. There were only a dozen volunteers to help in the city on Sunday, which is actually down from 42 volunteers on Saturday.
West Carleton Disaster Relief vice-president Angela Bernhardt said they also need people to help remove the sandbags “one piece at a time” because “as we know, many hands make light work.”
Patrick Laroque is one of the handful of volunteers helping to remove the sandbags for neighbours and complete strangers.
“It feels really good, feels really good to help my community and these people,” he said.
Another fellow volunteer said she felt bad because she didn’t come during previous calls for help, so she wanted to be there now.
Before people such as Graveline can return to their homes, thousands and thousands of sandbags will need to be cleared.
“If we don't get some help it's going to be a long drawn out summer,” Graveline said. “And we won't get this back together, for a while.”