Heavy rainfall in May and the failure of two dams caused severe to a portion of Michigan that impacted numerous members of Local 47 in Michigan. Similar flooding problems hit Local 110 members in the Fort McMurray area in Canada.
Just four years after our Brothers and Sisters of Local 110 dealt with a devastating fire in the northern Alberta area, they are now dealing with the devastation of water damage and mandatory evacuations. Wood Buffalo Mayor Don Scott estimated the region suffered more than $100 million in damage.
Central Michigan was hit by seven inches of rain on May 17, resulting in a record level of flooding caused by the failure of two damns – the Edenville and Sanford dams – on May 19. The influx of water from the damns washed down the Tittabawassee River, where it eventually crested at 35 feet. The floodwaters destroyed homes, roads, bridges and sewer systems. More than 10,000 area residents were forced to evacuate.
Within days of notification of displacement, the International office issued checks to our Brothers and Sisters, who were displaced and dealing with damage from both of these natural disasters.
Canadian Conference (Western) International Vice President Wade Logan hand delivered checks to Local 110 members in Fort McMurray. Logan, who spent the first 10 years of his career in Fort McMurray, drove five hours on June 1 to deliver members their checks from the Disaster Relief Fund.
“I never thought I would be in this position,” said Logan. “Just a few years after the devastating fires, I am proud to help our members.
“The pandemic and work cutting back in the region has made this an especially difficult time,” he added.
Central States Conference International Vice President Pat Barron said the Brothers and Sisters of Local 47 greatly appreciated the assistance provided by the Disaster Relief Fund.
The Insulators Union created their Disaster Relief Fund in 2005 following the tragic impact our members experienced from Hurricane Katrina. Since that time, the fund has provided support to our Brothers and Sisters throughout North America, who find themselves in need after various natural disasters.
If you have been displaced or suffered major property damage from the recent flooding or its related effects, assistance from the Insulators Union Disaster Relief Fund is available. Please contact your Local Union officers for further information and instruction on how you can receive assistance.
We are here to help our members and immediate assistance is available during this critical time before insurance claims can process or other relief efforts arrive.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all our members and their families, as they work to recover and eventually get back to a normal life. Please know you are not alone.