Some 2,000 Samaritan’s Purse volunteers helping process more than 700 requests for flood help (July 11, 2013)

Written by Jenna McMurray

Published by Calgary Sun on Thursday, July 11, 2013

It’s already the largest recovery operation of its kind for two Calgary-based groups, but there’s no end in sight to the work left to do.

Sister organizations Samaritan’s Purse Canada and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Canada have received more than 700 requests for assistance with flood relief from residents in Calgary, Black Diamond, High River and Medicine Hat.

Some 2,000 volunteers have helped complete 239 of the work orders so far, including cleaning, removing drywall and insulation and spray washing damaged homes.

The majority of the remaining work orders are in High River.

Dozens of specially-trained rapid response team chaplains have also been on hand to offer counselling and emotional or spiritual support.

As volunteers move to Siksika Nation this week, Frank King, the communications manager for both organizations, said the total number of requests for assistance is expected to climb to more than 1,000, the equivalent of at least $2 million in remediation resources.

“This is easily the largest Canadian disaster response we’ve ever done,” said King.

“Nothing else even comes close.

“It’s a huge undertaking.”

A big part of the recovery efforts have been three disaster response units — tractor trailers that act as portable command centres.

The trucks are a home base for volunteers, storing equipment like shovels, generators, masks, fans and gloves, as well as acting as an office with Wi-Fi.

For more information or to donate, call 1-866-628-6565 or visit samaritanspurse.ca

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