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Volunteers travel to northern Ont. community to help as flood danger persists


Water has flooded three roads in the French River area and five homes are surrounded by water, as persistent spring rain continues to saturate the ground.

But the municipality is getting some much-needed help: 12 volunteers with Team Rubicon a national based disaster response organization, were sand bagging around a home on Brousseau Road on Wednesday to try and prevent flooding.

Team Rubicon is made up of men and women with military and first-responder experience, as well as civilian volunteers who step in when disaster is looming.

“We assist federal provincial and local governments during disaster operations and work with emergency management centres and other departments throughout different provincial governments,” said Jay McArthur, a volunteer with Team Rubicon.

The sandbags weigh 40 pound each and the volunteers, along with municipal employees, have been filling and then piling them around homes to protect them.

“This is what we love to do in the military -- we always answer the call to help,” said McArthur.

“Our job is to go out and help people that need it. We have been well-received from the homeowners that we have helped so far and you can see the sense of relief on their faces while we are there helping them berm up around their houses.”

The local fire department said it asked for help from the Provincial Emergency Management Centre and were put in touch with Team Rubicon.

Volunteers arrived Monday.

“They prevent any additional water coming through to the property and even wakes from boats that are boating around the river prevents damages to the homes the crawl space the basement to the residence,” said Roch Bigras, the chief of the French Fire Department.

French River Mayor Gisele Pageau said local residents are extremely grateful for the work of volunteers with Team Rubicon. (Alana Everson/CTV News)

Municipal officials said everyone in the French River area is hoping for dry weather and sunshine to lessen the threat of more flooding.

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“We need some sun, we need some heat in order to dry the area,” said French River Mayor Gisele Pageau.

“If we have more precipitation or if on Friday, we find out that the dams have opened up slightly, (then) we will be able to take that extra water.”

Municipal officials said water levels are being monitored daily and that sandbagging is being done around any home at risk of flooding. Pageau said local residents are extremely grateful for the work of volunteers with Team Rubicon. Top Stories

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