Samaritan's Purse Helping Windsor Flood Victims Clean Up (October 5, 2016)

Written by CTV Windsor

Published by CTV News on Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Windsor-Essex residents who need help with the clean-up and removal of flood damaged materials from their basements have another option.

A relief group that has dealt with disasters such as the Fort McMurray fire and Hurricane Katrina are in the area to help.

The group is named Samaritan's Purse, it is a national Christian disaster relief organization, which provides aid to victims of disaster, poverty and disease among other areas.

Their disaster relief unit is set up at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Lakeshore and is outfitted with essential disaster recovery equipment, from generators and pumps to hand tools and safety gear.

But they're not the only ones who will be busy over the next few days. As flood costs are sure to mount for homeowners, Samaritans Purse has offered their service free of charge.

“There is no cost to the home owner and there's no cost to the municipality," says Steven Elliott, disaster response coordinator. “We will send an assessor out to their house to assess the extent and type of work that has to be done."

A work crew will show up shortly after.

"We will prepare the basement to the level to where the homeowner can then decide whether to rebuild or just leave it exposed."

Samaritans Purse has been responding to national disasters since 2005 and the extent of damage here in Windsor and Tecumseh is nothing they haven't seen before.

Elliott says they already have over 30 work orders, which started coming in yesterday, late in the afternoon.

“We have assessors out there now looking at the jobs that have to be done and the work crews, the volunteers will be starting to come in tomorrow," says Elliott.

The group is able to offer their services for free thanks to an international donor base.

“We have a lot of donors who say 'yeah, I believe in what you're doing. Keep up the good work.’"

Home Hardware Building Centre on Lesperance Road has kept extra people on stock just to get the shelves filled.

Co-owner Kimberly Seguin-Gauthier says people aren't wasting anytime, fixing up their damaged basements.

“Especially with Christmas coming up as silly as that sounds people would be renovating anyways, but I think there's just that much of a rush now to try and get things done," she says.

Jim Parker, president of Parker Construction, says construction hasn't slowed down since last Thursday.

“We've been in water from four-feet deep,” says Parker. “We found in four-level backsplits to you know, wet carpet that was caused by sewer backup in the floor grain or sump pump overflow."

Parker says they've been so busy, that they've had to bring in five to six other companies as far away as Toronto.

Meanwhile, Samaritans Purse is anticipating staying here for about three weeks.

Elliott says typically they can handle about 100 volunteers each day.

If you would like to help, you can contact Samaritans Purse or call 1-866-628-6565.