Monday, July 15, 2013

TORONTO FLOODED!

So I don't know what the news covered (probably not much because nobody asked me about this in the emails this week), but Toronto had a huge storm last Monday and we lost power for days-- with mass flooding.  
 
[Editor's note: for the record, a few of us did ask Mallory about the flood...]

 
Here's the story:

We finished up our P-day and could hear the storm. It was music to my ears because I love storms. Then right before we went to head out we lost power. Luckily I carry a flashlight on me at all times, and we were able to make it through our dark building okay, heading towards the parking garage to drive to our appointment. Have you ever seen the movie "Titanic"? That was my life. We walked down towards the basement and as soon as we opened the hall door the water flooded in! We looked down the flooded, dark hall and braced ourselves for going in. Nothing would stop us. A crazy lady ran by and told us not to go out in the garage, that it was not safe: but I knew that we had a flashlight, so we could do anything :)
 
We went into the garage and it was very creepy, also extremely flooded. We realized then that the power was out and we wouldn't be able to get our car out due to the garage door, trapping us in. That stopped us right there. We climbed out of the garage a different way and ended up outside on the streets. I swear I just went from movie to movie, because I felt like I was in "I Am Legend." People were going crazy, it felt like the end of the world. There were constant sirens, people screaming and shouting, running all over the place - a complete mad house. The family we were meeting with called us and said they were stuck in four feet of water on the roads and that we should stay in our apartment for the night. We were forced in and remained there until the next day.
 
We kept ourselves busy with missionary stuff and called the ward list to make sure everyone was okay. Sister Mitchell almost had a panic attack, so all I could do to distract her was do a little singing and dancing concert to Beyonce. I knew there was a good reason Nat and I memorized all those music video dance moves. You learn great things in college, right? It was pretty funny;) And HOT, without A/C. Our power remained out for two days.  It was the strategy of some genius to have rolling blackouts in the whole city and surrounding areas until all areas were able to get their power back. We were the second to last area to get power back, so we'd drive to some places with power, and through others that did not. The traffic was horrendous without any street lights working, there were LOTS of accidents. We moved all of our food to the church building since we just barely bought groceries, and had to cook and shower at the church. Super tacky, I know.

Our basement is still flooded (and incredibly moldy), but the electricity is back on and all is well. Mostly. We got a call on Friday night that we were to be part of a Mormon Helping Hands relief effort in communities that were hit the hardest from the floods.
 
Here are some photos, and look for an article about our efforts on mormonnewsroom.ca soon :)
 
We spent 8+ hours "unflooding" people's basements all Saturday long. It was glorious. A lot of the houses we went to were those of elderly people or those who were unable to take care of their basements. The water that had flooded in this particular neighborhood was mixed with sewage water, so imagine that beautiful smell.... A lot of the people we helped were crying and were so grateful. It was the most marvelous feeling, to be able to help these people who couldn't help themselves in the midst of losing many, many of their belongings. We tore up carpet, linoleum, carried out all furniture, drained basements, etc. It was really fun because we had a ton of missionary companionships from surrounding areas, and a bunch of our ward members showed up. I wish we could do this everyday this week, that's the dream (except for the fact Sister Mitchell and I are STILL crazy sore from it today. We look like a bunch of idiots when we walk).

Other than that, this week was pretty standard (and you know, hectic). We had a dinner appointment on Wednesday with the cutest little family who's power was also out, so we ate nothing but fruit for dinner. But their four-year-old son, Wyatt, really loves bugs (sounds like someone else I know...:)). He has a collection of "specimen" in jars that he and his mom find and then label for his scientific purposes. It was so funny to hear him talk about his "specimen." Pretty sure they're his most prized possessions. So Sister Mitchell took it upon ourselves to trap every bug we saw this week that would be a cool addition to his specimen collection and kept running them over to his house. I've never seen anyone get so excited about bugs as Wyatt and his mother did.  We are now know as the Specimen Delivery Crew.

We also had a huge threat from one of our former investigators to call the police on us and get a restraining order. That was our fun piece of drama to end the week yesterday. Her mom is seeking our help, and she doesn't want us to go, so we got a lot of threatening texts and calls.... Some people just need to chill out.

I love you all very much.  Know that I am safe and well, maybe not clean though:) I am jumping at every opportunity I have to "unflood" basements and rip up flooring, so chances are that that's not the best for personal hygiene. But now we have power, so we can shower at home no problem. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be serving in this area, right in this moment. What a tremendous blessing to have such power and guidance when doing the Lord's work.

Sister Hutchings

P.S. Know that mail is ALWAYS appreciated. I haven't received any for a little bit :/

 






 

1 comment:

  1. I’m sorry to hear about this. The floods really look bad in these pictures. It’s good to hear that you are okay, though. It’s also nice to know that you helped clean up other people’s basements. Water damage can present a number of inconveniences, including molds, which also pose health hazards. I hope everything’s well now.

    John Spessard

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