17.9 C
Niagara Falls
Sunday, September 24, 2023
Good Samaritans step up to help during heavy flooding
Blair Cribb said his goal is to spread kindness and make NOTl an even better place. Julia Sacco
Saturday’s stormy weather hit Niagara-on-the-Lake hard. Almost two inches of rain fell in a short period. Roads like Ricardo Street were flooded in sections, the golf course was swamped and some people’s homes were flooded. (DAVE VAN DE LAAR) Julia Sacco
A river runs through it: Normally the only water to be found on the NOTL Golf Club's first hole is Lake Ontario along the north edge. Saturday this huge lake appeared in the middle of the first fairway. (Ken Porter) Julia Sacco
Several Inches of water filled Ricardo Street on Saturday but quickly drained away, fortunately. (Dina Kalns) Julia Sacco
Lily Cohen captured the flooding up her driveway on Dorchester Street. She told The Lake Report most of her yard was flooded around 11:30 Saturday morning. (Lily Cohen) Julia Sacco
A Jeep splashes through a deep puddle on Ricardo Street. (DAVE VAN DE LAAR) Julia Sacco

For many Niagara-on-the-Lake residents, the stormy weather last weekend was more than a mild annoyance: streets, parks, the golf course and many homes faced serious flooding problems.

It was the second consecutive weekend of heavy rain, but good neighbours were at the ready to help out.

Yu Cao, who lives in Garrison Village, was one of those who had a water crisis: she went down to her basement on Saturday morning and discovered water pouring in.

“I panicked. I didn’t know what to do. There were two inches of water on the floor and more water kept coming in,” Cao told The Lake Report.

Luckily for her, and some other residents in need, some Good Samaritans helped save the day.

Blair Cribb moved to NOTL from a small town outside Ottawa two years ago and brought both his rural hospitality and a water pump with him.

He never expected he would actually have to use the pump, but it came in handy during the final weekend of July as he was able to help clear water from Cao’s basement.

During the first weekend of heavy rainfall on July 23, Cribb posted on the “NOTL 4 All” Facebook page and offered to pump out basements and yards for anyone in need.

“I saw how much water was coming into our sump pump from the rain and I thought my pump was able to keep up, but I figured there were other residents who were not in as good a situation as I was,” Cribb said. 

But it wasn’t until the second rainfall this past weekend that he was “flooded” with responses: four people contacted him on Saturday, including Cao’s friend Jing Nolan, who reached out on Cao’s behalf.

“I just threw the pump and the hose in the back of my pickup truck and just drove to this first house,” he said.

Cao said Cribb stopped by the house while she contacted her insurance company.

“Blair and his wonderful pump came to my home and pumped the water out to stop further damage. He was a great help,” she said.

Cao said by the time she went back inside, Cribb was gone and she didn’t get a proper chance to thank him – “from the bottom of my heart,” she said.

Cribb connected with the three other people who reached out for help, but said they were able to clear the water out of their homes in time.

Crystal Nicholls was one of them, who received some help from another pair of good neighbours while she was overseas on vacation in Prague.

She said she checked the cameras monitoring her property and saw the flooding happening in real-time.

Nicholls was able to get into contact with some farmworkers who work behind her home and often cut the grass for her. 

“They went in and helped me out and were able to get the sump pump working again,” she said.

If another storm with heavy rainfall happens to blow into town again, Cribb said NOTLers can reach out to him for help on Facebook.

“Generally I’m at home and willing to help out,” he said.

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