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ASCO helps victims of Calgary floods

Canadian city Calgary suffered horrendous flooding in the summer of 2013 when torrential rain hit Southern Alberta. Always keen to help out a neighbour, our Canada team sent one of its specialist vacuum trucks down to Calgary to help out, as Fabian Walsh, ASCO Canada Country Director, explains.

“In many houses in the Calgary area the ground level floors were partially submerged in water and because nearly every house in Canada has a basement it also meant that the basements were completely underwater too. Owing to Canadian insurance regulations most householders are not covered and the flooding affected about 100,000 people. 

“I wanted to do something to help so I asked our own environmental specialist business, Manatokan, if they could spare a vacuum truck to go down to Calgary to help pump water out of some of the effected homes. The vacuum (vac) trucks are ideal for this purpose as they can not only empty the houses of water but also suck out the mud and silt too."

The mechanics at the Manatokan workshop in Iron River worked around the clock to get the truck ready for the type of work it was going to be doing. Two operatives, Anthony Hastings and Greg Wispers, drove to Calgary from Iron River (which takes about 6 to 7 hours) and worked for the whole week helping out an effected Calgary neighbourhood. 

Fabian continued, “In the time our team spent in Calgary we cleaned up 14 houses. Anthony and Greg worked very hard and for long hours each day, from 7am to 9pm, because they insisted on doing the job properly. Even I got stuck in and helped out when I could, acting as a swamper for the operatives.” 

“The police and fire service were also helpful, providing us with escorts to help move our truck around the town. The fire service in particular worked closely with our team, providing us with clean water from the hydrants so we could wash out the mud and silt from the houses.”

During the team’s time in Calgary they got a round of applause from the residents when the truck arrived in the street each morning. 

“Many of the residents offered to pay our two operatives for their help which was always respectfully declined, but I have had reports since that Greg and Anthony were well fed by the appreciative residents!”