Update: Red River Flood Watch, North Dakota, Winnipeg Manitoba

Update, Monday March 30, 2009 – Flood Watch –

Volunteer Alerts

Volunteers fill sandbags - photo CBC.ca

Volunteers fill sandbags - photo CBC.ca

North Dakota and Manitoba:

The flood watch in the Red River valley area on both sides of the U.S. Canada border continues today, but with a slight reprieve due to much colder temperatures. The sub-zero weather is slowing the runoff and freezing drainage that runs into the Red River and tributary systems and the flood crest is expected much later this week with many dikes and levees still intact. The work of residents, volunteers and thousands of National Guard and Canadian Armed Forces continues in the extra time that has resulted.

The flood watch in North Dakota has been replaced by a winter storm watch with a blizzard entering the region – which will only add to the snow and ice as melting conditions return and complicate the progress of ice jams up the river valley. Thousands still remain homeless due to flooding and evacuations ordered by authorities.

From the Winnipeg Free Press – “Ice jams aren’t just a problem for residents along the Red River. West of Winnipeg, an ice jam on a creek that flows into the Assiniboine River prompted the evacuation Sunday of 28 homes on the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation. The evacuation of the community of 2,400 was a precautionary measure, and that no homes had been flooded. Residents of the First Nation 261 kilometres west of Winnipeg were taken to Virden”.

Latest Flood Watch Updates from the Red River Valley Area –

Flooding in Fargo eases but winter storm moves in

Volunteers exhausted in battle against flood

Volunteers shift sandbagging efforts north of Selkirk

Chilly Weather Stops Flood in Tracks – Winnipeg

Residents & Volunteers Step up flood fighting preparations

Watches, warning, advisories for North Dakota

Project417 is still on call for the volunteer requirements and will publish an update later this evening.

Explosions in Two Toronto Apartment Buildings

Update: Hundreds of residents were forced to evacuate after explosions rocked two Toronto apartment complexes in separate incidents Thursday.

The first, a condominium building in the east end at Kingston Rd and Eglinton, suffered two blasts shortly after 2:30 am – one inside a utility room, followed by a Hydro transformer outside the building. More than 500 residents were evacuated to a community centre, where volunteer relief workers provided meals. More here from yesterdays post.

photo url - ctv.ca

photo url - ctv.ca

The second incident occurred early Thursday afternoon at 2369 Lake Shore Blvd., in the third-floor electrical room of a four-storey, 92-unit apartment building. [source ctv.ca] Residents were also evacuated to a nearby community centre – where about thirty stayed Thursday night. During investigation of the fire, what appeared to be marijuana grow-ops were discovered in three of the units. It’s not known whether the hydro consumed by the grow-ops contributed to the electrical room explosion.

Project417 volunteers also responded to the community centre with the Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services team to assist residents and serve food and beverages adding to the relief assistance already being provided after the east end explosion.

Explosion at Toronto apartment – 500 residents evacuated

cbc.ca photo

cbc.ca photo

Explosion in Toronto Apartment Complex

Location: Kingston Rd – Eglinton Avenue

Update from canoe: Hundreds of residents were evacuated after an explosion this morning at an east-end apartment. Many, some wearing only their pj’s and robes, were loaded onto transit buses and taken to a community center.

The explosion, in the basement utility room, knocked out the building’s power. read more | digg story Share it and Digg it up!

More from globeandmail.com – ” More than 500 were forced to evacuate the building . Following the blast in the condominium, a Hydro Transformer outside the building also exploded. Commander O’Hallarn of the Toronto Fire Departments said the evacuation has been lengthy because it took time to set up a location to temporarily house people. Some residents have been shuttled off to the Scarborough Village Community Centre at 3600 Kingston Rd….

And cbc.ca – “Most residents were able to enter their condos to take some of their belongings and pets with them. Some spent the day at a nearby community centre, while others said they were going to stay with friends or family.

Project417 Update – Once again, Project417 responded to the disaster. Project417’s Director, Joe Elkerton, had been on call all week for the Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster response unit (EDS), backing up the vacationing Salvation Army manager in charge.  He received the call from Toronto Fire early Thursday morning that hundreds of residents were sheltered in the east end community center. Joe quickly organized  volunteers, picked up the EDS community response vehicle, which is a fully equipped and stocked 35′  mobile canteen, and headed for the center. Throughout the day, meals, snacks and beverages were served to residents and front-line personnel manning the evacuation centre. The EDS unit of the Salvation Army – with whom Project417 partners – is a critical component of Toronto’s overall emergency and disaster services plan.

New Orleans Update – Hurricane Ike Headed for Texas Coast – Louisiana Watchful

Hurricane and storm watch alerts for Ike

Hurricane and storm watch alerts for Ike

Latest reports are that Hurricane Ike, which battered Cuba with high winds and a five story storm surge, will make landfall on the Southeast Texas coast – Galveston Island to Houston area late friday, early Saturday. Currently rated category 2, but expected to pick up steam to category 3 at least before striking, Ike is already afftecting the Louisiana gulf coast area and New Orleans with winds in excess of 70 mph [ 120kph ] . Although the center of the storm’s path is headed towards Texas, it’s effects spread across hundreds of miles of southwest U.S. gulf coastline.

I’ve been planning to head down to New Orleans for Project417 since Labour Day weekend and the drive for donations to fund the trip is doing moderately well. However, there is still a shortfall of almost $800 to cover the trip expenses. For details of the project click here or visit Project417.com .  Please donate so we can continue to help the residents of New Orleans recover from Hurricane Katrina in 2005 while they are still threatened by this years onslaught of tropical storms and hurricanes.  You can donate online by clicking on the Paypal link above or on the MissionLog home page.

Thanks!    <><  Andy

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