In late August, World Renew volunteers will begin to build a new 28’ x 40’ home in north central Ontario, for homeowners whose house was so badly damaged in spring flooding there that it is beyond repair.

Last spring, the residents of Bracebridge, Huntsville, Bancroft, Kawartha Lakes, and several other communities experienced the worst flooding in more than 125 years. In April 136 mm of rain and a sudden thaw caused the snow to melt quickly, funneling water into raging rivers that then overflowed their banks. Local officials began to respond to the emergency by evacuating swamped residents as the power went out and roads closed. When the water receded, felled trees, water-logged cars, and flooded basements were visible by the dozens.

In early May, World Renew volunteers from Christian Reformed Churches in Ontario were in Hunstville and Bracebridge, Ontario, for two weeks to help year-round homeowners with clean-up. Many lacked the ability to clean-out and repair water-damaged portions of their property on their own. Others lack adequate insurance to pay for repairs. 

The volunteers, led by Tony DeWeerd, the World Renew Regional Manager for Eastern Canada, worked with Samaritan’s Purse to remove downed trees, pump water out of homes, muck out basements, and replace and repair drywall.

“While we were there, we checked out the home of Bob and Teresa Bowers in Bracebridge, which was damaged so badly it could not be repaired,” DeWeerd said. “When local organizations raised funds and found accommodations for our volunteers and residents donated their time and expertise to get the project started as well, World Renew Disaster Response Services agreed to build the Bowers a new home.”

The project is expected to begin in the week of August 21, 2013. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Becky Purdom at or call 1-800-848-5818.

To financially support the project in Bracebridge and World Renew’s Spring Storms 2013 response, please click here.


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