2019 will be remembered in many parts of Ontario as the year of the sandbags. Most of Eastern Ontario was at risk of flooding from the Ottawa river. In Southern Ontario, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario reached record heights. This necessitated the building of sandbag walls from North Bay to Cumberland and all along the lakeshores.
In Constance Bay and Cumberland, Adventist volunteers helped create sandbags. In Mississippi Mills just west of Ottawa, our Ottawa team leaders were asked to coordinate volunteer recruitment and training on sandbagging operations. In Clarington, a team spent two consecutive weekends sandbagging for the protection of key locations along the Ontario lakeshore. In Renfrew County, Adventist pastors from Pembroke and Ottawa were sent to a number of communities to provide emotional and spiritual support to residents and volunteers. In other communities help came from pastors of Pentecostal churches.
Once the flood risk was over, the volunteers went out again, this time to remove and dispose of sandbags. Through the month of May and part of June, a total of 67 registered volunteers donated over 316 hours of their time to this cause.
ADRA is proud to have worked with the Ontario Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, the NGO Alliance, and the Province of Ontario to aid local governments and the residents of the affected communities.