“The water rushed through Jill’s neighborhood with a lot of force and speed,” says Stephen Deunk, case manager for World Renew Disaster Response Services (DRS) in High River. “Water came from the west and not only flooded her basement but pushed water onto a section of the main floor as well.”
Soon after the flood, Jill underwent invasive surgery to address her illness. She could not return to her home because it was unsafe. She moved in with her family for a time, and eventually rented a place in a nearby town where she still resides.
A year and a half after the flood, the issues with and repairs on Jill’s home were still mostly unaddressed: only some minor mold-remediation work had been completed. An air quality test detected that the mold spore count in the basement was beyond the safe level established by Alberta Health Services. A home inspection revealed that many repairs were needed before Jill could move back in, including a number of serious structural problems. Jill wasn’t sure if or how she would ever get her home back in order.
World Renew DRS has been active in the flood response in Alberta since the water receded. Currently, a major part of the work of World Renew DRS’s two case managers is advocating for flood survivors like Jill.
“Unfortunately, Jill was limited by health issues, was denied a settlement from her home insurance company, and was stuck in the complicated process of applying for financial assistance through the government of Alberta’s Disaster Recovery Program (DRP),” says Deunk. “As her case manager, I sat in on meetings to make sure that Jill and the DRP understand each other, and I am helping to ensure that the proper paperwork is being completed so she can get the funding she qualifies for and desperately needs.”
Deunk’s intervention helped Jill get assistance from the DRP. But it was not enough to cover all of the repairs that were needed on Jill’s home. That’s when World Renew DRS was called upon to help.
World Renew DRS has been active in the flood response in Alberta since the water receded. Currently, a major part of the work of World Renew DRS’s two case managers is advocating for flood survivors like Jill. World Renew’s volunteer reconstruction teams are also in the area working on repairing and restoring homes every day, as they have been since January 2014.
With funds from a grant from the Town of High River, World Renew DRS was able to provide assistance to Jill, including contractors to complete a number of projects that were outside the capabilities of the World Renew DRS reconstruction teams. The contractors addressed the mold issue, removed the river silt build-up from the lower level, laid a new concrete slab on the dirt floor, and constructed a wood foundation in the basement to support the century-old stone walls. They also supplied and installed a new furnace and hot water tank, new electrical service, and new plumbing throughout the house.
World Renew DRS reconstruction volunteers are now working on Jill’s home. While they are there, they hope to
- adjust and support the floor joists.
- remove the water-damaged flooring and subfloor.
- install new subfloor on the main floor and flooring through most of the rest of the house.
- rebuild the bathroom on the main floor.
- fix the water-damaged walls, including insulation, drywall, etc.
- mud, tape, prime, and paint the interior of the home.
- clean the heat ducts.
- reinstall the kitchen cabinets.
“It was pretty clear that Jill wasn’t able to recover from this flood on her own,” says World Renew DRS Director Ron Willett. “Stephen, our case manager, did an excellent job helping Jill with the DRP process, making sure she received the financial assistance she needed. Our reconstruction teams are now making her home livable once again. We are excited for Jill to finally be able to get back into her home.”
World Renew DRS will be working on homes in High River, Alberta, through fall 2015. If you would like to volunteer, see the DRS-Managed Reconstruction Sites section on worldrenew.net/drs to get started or simply contact World Renew DRS at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-848-5818.