Sandspit hoping for money from Ottawa

  • Dec. 28, 2012 9:00 a.m.

Sandspit emergency volunteers are making a list and checking it twice, and hoping that the federal government plays Santa and comes through with money to help residents prepare for natural disasters and evacuations. The emergency preparedness committee sent a letter to MP Nathan Cullen last month that outlines exactly what Sandspit residents will need in the event that the entire community has to evacuate and survive for a week or more. Carole Bowler, the Moresby Island Management Committee representative on the emergency committee, said Mr. Cullen told the group he might be able to get some federal funds at a meeting a couple of weeks after the 7.7 earthquake and tsunami warning. Mr. Cullen asked the community to send him a list of what is needed to help him make the case in Ottawa, and Ms Bowler said the volunteers came up with a set of upgrades and sent it to him Nov. 25. “Sandspit is the only community on Moresby Island and we have NO protection from the environment if a tsunami wave or storm surge were to destroy all of our residences and infrastructure which is all at sea level,” the emergency volunteers wrote. “Without our airport and ferry we are vulnerable to long waits for assistance from our neighbouring communities and will be completely on our own. We MUST plan to protect our citizens accordingly.” Sandspit has requested money for a siren, for capping the evacuation site to allow vehicle access, for upgrades to the road leading to the evacuation site, for two large sea containers to store supplies, and for basic infrastructure at the site like generators, outhouses, tents, stoves, food and blankets. The estimated total for the list comes to about $131,000. Mr. Cullen has not yet replied to the emergency committee, Ms Bowler told the Moresby Island Management Committee at its Dec. 13 meeting.