Here's how Kirkland Lake's rallying after flooding

KIRKLAND LAKE - A Northern Ontario town is working together in the wake of flooding late last week.

Twelve Kirkland Lake residents were displaced after Hydro One disconnected power for health and safety reasons. The town has been under a state of emergency since April 12 when flooding overwhelmed the sanitary system and put several streets under water.

As the situation improves, the community is rallying to help the people most affected.

Mayor Stacy Wight told TimminsToday residents from seven of the eight homes affected chose to be housed in a local hotel, Microtel Inn and Suites, while one found alternate accommodations.

“Thankfully, evacuation wasn't widespread, but we definitely know that damage is widespread,” she said.

The Federal Tavern has been making sure that people are being fed.

Owner Dixit Patel said he and his wife Madhavi Purohit provided 70 meals to residents in need.

“It was her idea. She said this is what’s happened, I’m already starting to cook the meals because we don’t know how many people are going to come and pick it up. She got everything together and called a couple of people to come help,” Patel said.

SEE: Meet the new owners of Kirkland Lake's Federal Tavern

Community members volunteering with the sandbags picked up the meals and delivered them to residents in need, Patel said.

“We live in a community and we are here because of the community and when something like this happens, definitely everybody should step up — 1,000 per cent,” he said.

The outpouring support from community members and local businesses during this crisis has been overwhelming, Wight said.

“My Gym and Fitness Center has reached out to offer showers to those people that are affected. There were accommodations offered,” she said.

“There is an individual who’s off work this week and he put out a call to anybody that needs dump runs done that he’s willing to do it.

People also dropped off food and drinks at the fire hall as well.

The state of emergency was declared in Kirkland Lake because the flooding was overloading the sanitary system. The next morning, the town noted that water levels at lift stations had subsided and the system was effectively managing flow. The sanitary sewer surcharge has now stopped and infrastructure is operating normally.

SEE: Flooding causes Kirkland Lake to declare state of emergency

At least 140 homes were affected. In the areas most impacted, Wight said the fire department has knocked on doors, the town is tracking all calls coming in and the landfill is tracking everyone bringing in waste from the crisis.

“We want to know how many people and how many addresses were affected because even though we have three major areas in the community that we are aware of that were affected, we also know that there are smaller pockets throughout the community that saw this flooding as well,” she said.

“So by the end of this situation, we will have some really good solid data of where and who was affected by this emergency.”

Anyone bringing debris to the dump for their neighbours is encouraged to leave their name with fire department personnel by calling 705-567-3400. People needing help can call that same number to connect with a volunteer.

SEE: Kirkland Lake waives landfill tipping fees for flood-related waste

Residents can continue to expect a slowdown of services, Wight said.

“Our public works crews are out repairing roads and damages from that rushing water that we saw. So if you're making calls to the community for other services, of course, you're going to see that slow down,” she said.

“We’ve also had members of our staff being personally affected by flooding in their own homes, so there are some areas where staff will be missing.”

Wight said they’ve seen the best of what Kirkland Lake has to offer over the last few days.

“Our staff continue to step up to the plate throughout this emergency, working through the night just to make sure that our community members are all taken care of. And then the outpouring of support from our community members and businesses,” she said.

“This is truly what makes Kirkland Lake an incredible place to live and I just want the community to rest assured that administration, staff, and council are doing everything they can to make sure that they're well taken care of.”

Marissa Lentz, Local Journalism Initiative,