Merritt Centennials stepped out into the community to help residents still recovering from the November 2021 floods. Team members volunteered their time to assist Phase 4 residents still evacuating their homes to clear the mass flood debris. in the home crawl space.
Donna Rae has been displaced for over 11 months, and it will be over a year before she is housed again. Ray’s house near Central School was badly damaged by the floods. Since then, she has been living outside the limits, commuting to Merritt every day to complete repairs on her property and other flood restoration work. He said he was grateful for the help of her “shining hockey pad knight.”
“It was amazing. We were so grateful that it removed more of the wet dirt from the crawl space,” says Rae.
“The fact that they volunteered their time, they wouldn’t let me buy lunch, and they didn’t want to be paid. It was just amazing.”
Mr. Rae added that the Saints were willing to spend the entire afternoon working shifts clearing silt and debris from the home’s crawl space. She was impressed by their work ethic, calling them “really nice lads”. Her support came at just the right time, as Rae’s road to recovery hasn’t been easy. She had issues with her contractors and her long waiting list, but she shared her tips for getting over her feelings of fear from her situation.
“We’ve had issues with contractors, no-shows, etc. The buddy I have now is good, he shows up but he can only give me part time. We’ve come a long way,” Ray said.
“Don’t give up. I’m in the Sunshine Valley and there were many times I didn’t want to drive back every day to deal with this.
The helping hand went well, but there was a bit of a misunderstanding about the nature of the team’s volunteer work. Ray shared his memories lightheartedly.
“Their coach neglected to tell them what they were going to do,” Ray said with a laugh.
“Some were wearing sandals, shorts and white socks. When I asked them if the coach told them what they were going to do, they said no.” . They didn’t complain. They just happily dug up and started hauling out buckets of dirt. ”
Rae is one of many residents still recovering from the effects of the November floods. While many residents have returned to their homes and infrastructure repairs are being made, many Merittonians remain displaced by home repairs.