Dozens of students and teachers from Ecole elementaire catholique Saint Joseph in Sturgeon Falls were working diligently to fill sandbags at the Jocko Point volunteer fire department today.
Since Thursday, more than 45,000 sandbags have been filled and placed along the homes and waterfronts by Jocko Point residents as they combat the flood waters coming in from Lake Nipissing.
The flooding has been serious since last Thursday, but the water keeps rising and the lake was rough with waves last night, which reportedly caused sandbag walls to be breached on several properties.
See related: Urgent call for volunteers at Jocko Point
Colette McInnes has only been living on Jocko Point for two years. She has taken a leadership role in this area battle against the high water levels.
“We started dispatching trucks, taking care of the most serious cases and we do our assessments in the morning. Then we attack as we need to, like the priority cases or just the ones that need assistance, the elderly. We make sure they have food and water through the Angel Network, and so we are winning this war,” said McInnes.
“What we do is we assess in the morning the most priority cases, and monitor and go a bag and a half over the water level just to help against the waves. That is what we are really scared of, so our boat launches are all closed,” she continued.
“We can take some of the rain. It is the waves that will be pretty destructive to us.”
Kerrie Emms, is with the Angel Network volunteer organization and she started helping Sunday and has not stopped since.
“We have been feeding volunteers with donations from North Bay, anywhere we can get them basically. So we have been making sure they are having hot meals and hot food, anything we can do to help,” she said, noting the food needs to be cooked and stored at another location.
Emms is amazed to see the amount of teamwork in place, many putting in 12 to 14-hour volunteer shifts to help out their neighbours.
“It is amazing to see these people coming together, it is like they started as a community and now they are a family,” said Emms.