Saturday, May 12, 2018

"Crying is not going to help" Maugerville, New Brunswick, residents begin heartbreaking cleanup

Maugerville residents and business owners return to find out what the flood waters have claimed

Matthew Bingley · CBC News · Posted: May 12, 2018 6:44 PM AT | Last Updated: 7 hours ago

With their road access restored, residents and business owners have returned to Maugerville after more than two weeks of flooding to begin the painful process of rebuilding their lives.

With most of her belongings on the front lawn, Karina Asmar said she lost almost everything in the flood. She and her partner Chris Bailey made regular trips home by kayak while the water was still high, but this Saturday was the first full day the couple could clean-up.

"I walked in and I swear, I felt completely lost," said Asmar. "I didn't know where to start."

The couple's home is now a hive of activity with friends and family tearing off soggy drywall to make it livable.

Despite the pain of seeing the devastation, Asmar said with worst of the flood over, she's finding she needs to smile.

"The first five days, I would have been in tears," she said, "then you realize crying is not going to help. It's not going to bring everything back."

Asmar is counting her blessings that at least her photo albums were stored high enough that the water couldn't reach them.

The reality of life after a flood is sinking in elsewhere in the community as well. Kirk Spencer has a shipping container on his front lawn, which will become the temporary home for what wasn't ruined by contaminated water.

"Once you can actually get here, check things out, it sinks in a lot more," said Spencer. 

That uncertainty is also being felt by John Buiting who co-owns Portobello Sod Farms. The company's signs boast that "the grass is always greener on our side," but at the moment, that grass is still underwater.

"I'm hoping that we have a half-decent summer, but I can't really tell until the water goes down," said Buiting. He's concerned the wind and waves whipped up last weekend have eroded the soil.

The older grass should survive, but Buiting said he's more concerned about the grass seed he laid out last year that's not as well established.

Many along Route 105 are hoping the Provincial Government's disaster relief program will provide them a little aid. Especially Monty MacMillan, who only found out he didn't have flood insurance after the flood.

MacMillan runs a chainsaw sculpture business and has lost expensive tools and equipment. "We've taken a lot of pictures in hopes that there'll be some assistance from somebody," he said.

Along with everything ruined by the water, MacMillan said a four-foot sculpture depicting himself carving a bear has disappeared.

"I have no idea where it went," he said with a laugh, "it's probably in Jemseg or Saint John."


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