Canadian Relief Projects - 080504 Canadian Disaster Relief

Hope and help for flood-weary Fort McMurray family

The situation at Gerry Gaunt’s home in Fort McMurray, Alberta was bad. So bad, that the 53-year-old machinist didn’t step off his property for a week after the Clearwater River flooded in late April—depositing almost four feet of water in his shop and nearly two feet in his house.

“I wasn’t expecting the water to breach the house,” he said quietly while sitting on a garden tractor. Once the floodwaters receded, Gerry used that tractor to move dirt around the house and encourage the water underneath his home—which doesn’t have a basement—to finally drain away.

“I didn’t realize the gravity of the situation; I was concerned, but optimistic,” he said.

The gravity of the situation became frighteningly clear when Sheri, Gerry’s wife, and their three dogs had to be kayaked off the property as rising water surrounded their home.

Update: “You gave us our home back” Read how Canadians like you help brokenhearted flood victims in Fort McMurray

An overwhelming amount of work

After the floodwaters disappeared, the amount of work ahead of Gerry and his family was overwhelming. He felt he had no choice but to stay on the property, sleeping in an RV so he could spend as much time as possible cleaning up.

That’s when an army of orange-shirted Samaritan’s Purse volunteers arrived to offer a welcome light at the end of the long, dark tunnel looming ahead of the Gaunt family.

Thanks to your prayers and support, the team was able to bring in specialized recovery equipment and spend two days removing waterlogged furniture and belongings, tearing away soaked drywall and flooring, and spraying to stop mold growth. All this at no cost to the Gaunt family.

As our dedicated volunteers respond, we are also investing extra resources and taking special precautions, while coordinating with government officials, to protect them and those they serve from COVID-19.

Offering stability in an unstable time

“This is a big help,” Gerry gratefully said as he watched volunteers coming and going from his home, many of them carrying tools or removing damaged drywall. “It would take me a long time to get this work done.”

The timely help and professionalism of the Samaritan’s Purse volunteer team also impressed Gerry. “Everyone’s polite and courteous. They offer stability in an unstable time,” he said.

The Gaunts are just one of more than 90 Fort McMurray families that have reached out for help after the ice-jammed Clearwater and Athabasca Rivers drowned their homes.

Please continue to pray for them. Many are still recovering from the devastating wildfire that ripped through Fort McMurray in 2016, while also dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and very challenging economic times.

In these times of disaster, you can bring stability, help, and hope in Jesus’ Name to hurting Canadian families. As you do, you “bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2, ESV).

Canadian Relief Projects - 080504 Canadian Disaster Relief

Help Samaritan's Purse respond quickly to victims of disasters within Canada, providing not only physical assistance as people clean up and rebuild after floods, fires, and other disasters, but also emotional and spiritual support in the aftermath of tragedy.