Search for those swept away by Ontario floodwaters during storm comes up empty
“I’ll never forget the time I saw our home on fire. It was terrifying,” says Susan MacRae.
In early 2014, floodwaters swept over a community in southeastern Ontario, leaving residents homeless.
Almost two years later, two men are trying to rebuild their lives in a new community. They’re hoping the province will come through for them.
“I don’t think it could have been a better group of people to have as your neighbours,” says Susan MacRae, who had to evacuate and is looking to re-establish her life.
The same can’t be said for the province, which failed to give them a clear path forward.
“We’re looking at years and years of trying to come up with something to tell the people we didn’t do well,” says Scott McQueen, Ontario’s minister of economic development and trade. “It’s just impossible.”
MacRae and McQueen aren’t the only people who say the government has failed to give them the help they need.
It’s a position the government — and the people of Ontario — are hoping to change now that they’re back in the community where they lived for two years.
It’s a community that MacRae and McQueen have never forgotten, even though it’s now on the other side of the province from where they once lived.
They’re now in the village of Birtle, population 1,300 who have been affected by flooding that hit the town in November of 2014.
“I’ll never forget the time I saw our home on fire. It was terrifying,” says MacRae. “We were told that you have to evacuate if you see your home on fire.”
She says she and her family were forced to flee their home by the rising waters until the Ontario Society of Rural Communities (OSRC) found them a new home.