VIDEO: Canadian Forces help flood-ravaged Grand Forks residents heal

Sgt. Bradley Lowes says the military is used to dealing with traumatic times

More than 100 soldiers descended on Grand Forks this past week, as flood waters rose to historic highs.

Capt. Chris Hanson, who led the Edmonton-based troops, said his soldiers were happy to help their fellow Canadians in their time of need.

“The majority of this unit has been deployed to natural disasters before, either in B.C. or the flooding in Manitoba or across Canada,” said Hanson.

“So they have skills from fighting fires to first aid to driving armoured vehicles, it’s a very diverse set of skills we bring to the tables.”

Over near the Grandby River’s banks, a couple dozen soldiers sandbagged a lift station Saturday afternoon.

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

Leading them was Sgt. Bradley Lowes, who’s seen his fair share of B.C. cities fighting off natural disasters.

“I was at the B.C. wildfires last year, in Riske Creek and Williams Lake,” said Lowes.

“Lots of people just think we deploy overseas but really our job is to protect home as well.”

With the flood waters receding and 175 evacuation orders already lifted in Grand Forks, the army is getting ready to redeploy.

But as the 3,000 Kootenay-Boundary residents under evacuation order tryig to come to terms with the floods that displaced them from their homes, Lowes said that the military was in a unique position to help out not just physically, but mentally.

“Going through something like this is life-changing. It’s your house, it’s your livelihood,” he said.

“With us dealing with a lot of mental health issues, we’re great to talk to people about going through a stressful time – and this is a very stressful time for them.”


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