Ice jams – flooding: Red River threat in Manitoba

Manitoba, North Dakota, Minnesota Flooding and Evacuations

Manitoba – Winnipeg Update: [source yahoo! canada news CP]

The real threat at the moment is coming from ice jams along the river, which have already caused overland flooding north of Winnipeg, he added. “We feel we can handle all the water. It’s the ice that may jam and cause localized flooding that challenged us in the last 48 hours and challenges us for the operation of the floodway.” The province won’t activate the floodway to divert water away from Winnipeg until the ice has cleared, he said. Sandbagging continued Friday to guard against the early stages of any flooding.

Evacuation alerts were still in effect for 850 people from the Roseau River First Nation and Riverside near the U.S. border. About 95 elders and those with chronic conditions were taken by charter buses to Winnipeg from Roseau River on Thursday as a precaution.

Meanwhile, authorities were keeping an eye on the ice jams north of Winnipeg. A blockage near the community of Lockport, Man., led to the evacuation of 40 homes earlier in the week. It broke up, but re-formed down the river. Emergency measures co-ordinator Paul Guyader said firefighters began checking water levels at first light Friday. Sandbagging efforts were focused in areas north of the blocked ice to prevent more homes from flooding, he said.

North Dakota, Minnesota Update: [source cbc.ca]

Ahead of potentially disastrous flooding from the rising Red River, officials in Minnesota asked thousands of households in a city bordering the river to evacuate Friday. About one-third of the households in Moorhead — 2,660 in all — are affected, said city spokeswoman Becky Jahnke. The move follows the mandatory evacuation of more than 190 homes, nursing homes, hospitals and a county jail in North Dakota as the swollen Red River broke a 112-year-old flood level record on Friday.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Barack Obama has dispatched the acting head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to the region.

Check back to the missionlog here for updates on possible volunteer deployments with Project417 and the Salvation Army Emergency and Disaster Services.

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FEMA Relief in Texas Thousands Waiting to Rebuild after Ike

Source NYTimes.com  – A letter To the Editor: from FEMA about housing relief efforts following Hurricane Ike.

Hurricane Ike damaged home in San Leon, Galveston County, Texas

Hurricane Ike damaged home in San Leon, Galveston County, Texas

Approximately 22,000 people displaced by Hurricane Ike sought and found FEMA shelter assistance. FEMA  …has reimbursed them for expenses they may have incurred. This reimbursement program was scheduled to end last week, but was extended when it became clear that repairs and clearances for some homes would be delayed. FEMA is judging extensions on a case-by-case basis. Some could stretch into next year. – quoting Jonathan F. Thompson, Director of External Affairs, FEMA”.

Andy Coats and Project417, who partnered with the Salvation Army and San Leon Community Disaster Relief for two weeks at the end of September, is retruning to San Leon with volunteer teams to help with the re-building. Many of the poorer residents of San Leon are stuck in a Catch 22 situation with repsect to their FEMA claims. Although they qualify for FEMA assistance grants to re-build their homes, the FEMA aid is dependant on the house foundations being raised at least eight feet above flood plain levels. In the case of one family Andy helped in San Leon, while the FEMA grant exceeds $25,000 – sufficient to repair the storm surge submerged home – it does not cover the cost of raising the home foundation the required height on pillars to be safe from future storm surges. As a result, no insurance company will issue a policy, and no mortgage can be issued without insurance. The result is three fold, FEMA will not pay the money without insurance on the home. The family can not afford the extensive repairs, and the home can not be sold, because no purchaser would receive a mortgage without the insurance.

Project417 is seeking donations to adopt Texas families in similar situations, assist in the rebuilding to FEMA standards, and to raise volunteer teams to take part in re-building to reduce overall construction costs. Check back to the blog pages here for updates on the next planned volunteer trips in December and January.  Share this page with your friendsDigg the story, and share it on Facebook.

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Thousands a day seeking meals from Salvation Army in Galveston County

Galveston County Daily News, Oct. 6, 2008 GALVESTON: Tracy Czajkowski, a captain in the Salvation Army, said she and other volunteers from across the country hope to be the “shock absorbers” for Galveston residents who lost everything during the storm. Relief workers and volunteers, have gone from one disaster zone to another. At each place, workers have been greeted by people clinging to the end of their rope. [ end of excerpt ]

Andy and Karyl on the canteen

Andy and Karyl on the canteen

Over on the mainland in Galveston County, I am serving meals in devastated San Leon, Texas. The Pasadena Command of the Salvation Army is now focusing its mobile canteen service on the southern areas of the coastal area hit by Hurricane Ike. San Leon has had two canteens assigned for a total of over two thousand people served hot meals each day, and each day the food often runs out prompting the Emotional and Spiritual Care teams to call for even more support. The main mobile kitchen in Seabrook, staffed by Southern Baptist volunteers, that cook all the meals for the canteens prepare about 6,500 meals a day. Our canteen travels there twice a day to pick up the food and restock with water, ice, Gator Aid and snacks. It’s expected that mobile kitchen will re-locate south across the causeway into the coastal town of Kemah, more central to our relief efforts now that life is becoming more normalized in Houston County.

Today will be my last day onsite of the trip, but I look forward to returning soon to help the folks in San Leon and Galveston. I’ve given thought to changing the New Orleans short term mission in November to Galveston County and the people of San Leon. They all need help gutting out flood ravaged homes. Many are being bulldozed due to structural damage and will have to be rebuilt from scratch. Thanks for all your support and consider donating to help the poor people who have no homes and little that we all take for granted.
~~~
Andy Coats

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Galveston Seawall Levee- Major Damage Hurricane Ike

From – Houston: KHOU.com – damage estimates for the Galveston levee run into millions. Read more by clicking the link.  More Hurricane Ike Disaster Relief and volunteer updates and photos click the Home tab above.

More San Leon updates and photos soon. Andy is returning this weekend.

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Hurricane Ike Victims Toll Rises – FEMA Chertoff Criticized

Hurricane Ike’s death toll in the U.S. climbed past 50 today – search teams pulled out of Galveston having searched the entire island for survivors. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff returned to Texas for a second time to check on recovery efforts amid growing criticism about the FEMA response

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Louisiana: Ike – Gustav Relief Effort Updates and News Releases

Latest Updates — Estimated Homes Flooded During Ike Update; Strain and Landrieu optimistic for disaster relief; FEMA Expands Public Assistance Program Assistance to 20 More Parishes, at Request of Governor Jindal; Multiple Sites In Calcasieu, Cameron and Vermilion Parishes Providing Food, Supplies Thursday – join the volunteer efforts to help evacuees and victims. This read more link is also to the official State of Louisiana Emergency information Site at – http://emergency.louisiana.gov/

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