Floods in British Columbia: Christian group from Alberta drives huge disaster response trailer to Abbotsford to help with flood recovery


“We love what we do and helping people,” says Tammy Suitor, disaster relief manager for Samaritan’s Purse.

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An Albertan Christian group called Samaritan’s purse drove a massive truck – dubbed Home Hardware on Wheels – through Abbotsford to help people rebuild flood-ravaged homes.

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The disaster response truck arrived in Abbotsford on Thursday and is fitted with all kinds of professional equipment that volunteers plan to use next week to help people clean up flooded basements, disinfect and make repairs.

Tammy Suitor, disaster relief manager for Samaritan’s Purse, gave Postmedia News a tour of the Home Hardware on Wheels on Friday, which is housed in a 16-meter NASCAR-style trailer.

Tammy Suitor, Disaster Relief Manager for Samaritan's Purse.
Tammy Suitor, Disaster Relief Manager for Samaritan’s Purse.

“It has everything we need to respond to any type of disaster across Canada,” Suitor said. “There is the PPE equipment, there are all the tools. “

It has two levels, one for bulk storage with rows and rows of cabinets for hardware and the other for all telephone and computer systems. She added that he has everything they need to enable dozens of volunteers to respond to disasters.

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In total, the donor-funded group has four disaster response trailers, two stationed in Calgary and two in Ontario. In the past, their volunteers have responded to floods in Calgary, fires in Fort McMurray, Alta., And they have spent much of this summer helping to fight wildfires in British Columbia, including helping to clean up the destroyed village of Lytton.

Calgary’s other unit is in Merritt, which was also severely damaged by the atmospheric river that flooded the southern coast of British Columbia on November 13, causing large-scale flooding and landslides.

“Here we are looking at hundreds of homes that will need some sort of cleaning and it will be to varying degrees depending on the damage,” she said. “It’s going to be a big job. We’re going to be here until Christmas, and then we’ll be back after.

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The volunteers have heard heartbreaking stories of people who have lost not only their homes but also their livelihoods, the suitor said, adding that the town of Abbotsford was truly welcoming. They also received help from the Northview Community Church to provide a safe space for the displaced.

If anyone wants to volunteer with Samaritan’s Purse, or donate to help their efforts, they can visit the maritain scholarships.ca website and follow the links.

“We’re a Christian organization and that motivates us to put our faith into action – not just talking about doing good things but doing good things,” Suitor said. “We love what we’re doing and helping people… We hope if we were in this boat someone would do the same for us.”

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Walter Martin, Equipment Manager for Samaritan’s Purse, is a former commercial trucker who lives in Calgary. He drove the big Home Hardware on Wheels to Abbotsford from Calgary, via Highway 3, arriving just off the highway on Thursday. 1 reopened.

“Crossing the mountain was not so bad. We had a bit of snow and slippery roads but for two days of driving we did really well for this time of year, ”said Martin, adding that he wasn’t too worried about the slips. ground. “The only thing that would make me nervous would be having to sit on the side of the freeway for eight hours or 20 hours or for days. “

Volunteer James Haitel, a mechanic from Barrhead, Alta., Took time off from his own business to volunteer and help in Abbotsford. He said he had a passion to help those in need.

“It’s part of being a Christian,” Haitel said. “Jesus calls us to help each other and this is a way for me to help people who really need a helping hand.”

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