St Marys Cement — Bowmanville donates emergency equipment to fight floods

St Marys Cement — Bowmanville donates emergency equipment to fight floods

BOWMANVILLE — St Marys Cement Bowmanville plant is helping Clarington battle future floods with a donation of equipment and a storage unit to the Clarington Fire Department.

“On behalf of the Clarington Fire Department and the municipality and residents, we thank them for their generosity,” said Clarington Fire Chief Gord Weir.
On Friday, July 23, St Marys Cement Bowmanville donated personal protective equipment (i.e. hard hats, safety vests, gloves and safety glasses), water pumps and a SeaCan storage facility capable of storing, protecting and providing quick access to the equipment to help enhance the Clarington Fire Department’s ability to respond to a range of emergency situations, including high water events.  
“It certainly helps us enhance the equipment we have been purchasing to handle flood events,” said Weir.
To better withstand future floods, Clarington has been stockpiling sandbags, and recruiting volunteers to help during flood emergencies along the lakefront and other vulnerable areas within the municipality.
During the spring of 2017, there was heavy rain, rapid snow melt and repeated floods in Clarington. Waterfront neighbourhoods were affected by a lake surge (high winds combined with high water level) from Lake Ontario that caused flooding in Bowmanville’s East Beach and West Beach areas.
At the time Clarington had an emergency plan, but it didn’t deal specifically with flooding. After repeated efforts to protect homes along the lakefront from flooding last spring, Clarington council asked municipal staff to develop a plan to deal with flood emergencies.
A new flood response plan was added to the municipal emergency plan, after council gave final approval on Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. The new Clarington flood response plan covers not only the waterfront, but includes a Clarington-wide flood response.
Part of the Clarington flood response plan includes building stockpiles of sandbags in case they are needed.
To make that stockpile possible, the municipality put out the call for volunteers and asked for their availability and if they would be able to volunteer at the last minute during an emergency. More than 30 people put their names forward as future volunteers and a training session is expected to be held late this summer or in the fall.