Support sessions to be held for Cape Breton flood victims still struggling with losses
Four months after the Thanksgiving Day flood in Cape Breton, people are still trying to come to terms with a great deal of loss.
One community organization that has now stepped in to help say they're dealing with more than just the physical damage left, they are trying to help mend emotional losses.
Flood victims say with bills adding up, stress is beginning to take its toll on them.
“Most homeowners still haven't received– even if they made a settlement on their home– they haven't received the funds,” says flood victim Terry Drohan. “Some people are managing two mortgages.”
Lynne McCarron of the United Way says she has reached out to other community organizations to see how they can help.
“Unfortunately a lot of what they lost money can't be replaced,” says McCarron. “So they're really feeling a significant struggle with how they deal with that. I actually had two threats of suicide.”
While everyone agrees counselling is needed, the wait lists are long for many people.
“If they have to wait six months, nine months or even a year to get the help they need, a lot can happen in that time frame,” says McCarron. “I thought we needed to do something quicker.”
McCarron says monthly support sessions are now being organized in Sydney and Glace Bay.
But some flood victims say stress levels would be much lower if government promises were kept. Drohan says initial money donated to victims is now being deducted by the government.
He says they still have many questions and are having a hard time getting answers.
“Minister (Zack) Churchill has been on the radio saying he would like to meet with us,” says Drohan. “We've even offered to go to Halifax to meet with him. He's not responding and has never been on the ground here in our area.”
Flood victims are planning a press conference next week to detail some of the challenges they are still facing.
McCarron says anyone who feels overwhelmed by the flood and needs someone to talk to can attend a support session on Tuesday at the Town House Citizens Service League in Glace Bay.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore