Canadian Community Response - 080653 Canadian Disaster Relief

'Art therapy' welcomed after the Burlington flood

by Grace Van Mil, Samaritan’s Purse

A large art canvas caught my eye as I walked down a street in Burlington, Ontario that had been  under several feet of water. Titled “Burlington Flood 2014,” the canvas was propped up against a vehicle and there was a container nearby that had some permanent markers in it.

There was also a notice inviting passersby to sign their names or leave encouraging messages for  residents of this flood-affected neighborhood.

ArtBriar Emond, a local artist who lives on the waterlogged street, set up the flood-damaged canvas she rescued from her basement and watched as it became a kind of community encouragement board.

“It was a raging, muddy torrent of water,” said Emond, explaining what it was like for residents to receive about two month’s worth of rainfall in a  few hours  on August 4. “The street was submerged.”

She went on to describe the influx of sewer water that many area residents experienced. “It was like a geyser through the shower downstairs, and the toilet blew the lid right up. [It came] through the sink and the laundry drain…it was dramatic.”

Many residents had only 10 minutes from the time they first started experiencing flooding until basements and yards flooded.

Deeply concerned for her neighbors during the flooding, Emond said, “For the seniors across the street-it was terrifying. We couldn’t get across the street. The current was so strong and there were large pieces of lumber floating by.

Emond was glad to hear about the work Samaritan’s Purse was doing on behalf of those most in need after Burlington’s flash flood. “It is so much worse for so many families that don’t have any coverage, or very limited coverage,” she said. “Those people are going to be dealing with this on a whole other level, for a very long time.”

Read more about our flood relief work in Burlington

Canadian Community Response - 080653 Canadian Disaster Relief

Help Samaritan’s Purse strengthen the impact of local churches in communities recovering in the aftermath of disasters. As caring Christians are trained and empowered to walk alongside individuals and families to find solutions to complex needs, God opens doors to share the Gospel.