Martine Laberge from CBC Radio-Canada shot this video from a Helicopter, the day after the flood.
On October 25, 2013, we were happily doing what we always do when the Motel is Closed for the Season, we were inside Renovating. At 10 pm, John walked along the front of the Motel, and thought the wind seemed very loud in the forest, across the highway. It sounded like a hurricane. As he neared the highway, he saw that the sound was the rushing waters of a river flowing down the highway! John yelled for me, and as we both looked in awe, cars started driving into the river...... omg.. (the people in those cars, hitting that water must have freaked!) Panicked, I dialed 911 and told them they had to close the highway.
John grabbed a flashlight and we walked towards the lower rooms, only to find that they were sitting in a LAKE! Holy Crap - I grabbed the camera!
Oh my..... What do the Chalets look like?? We quickly ran to them, and saw them sitting in a Lake!
As the highway was caving in, I tried to photograph the first small sink-hole that was located in front of the Office. I drew the line, to show where the highway used to be.
The Highway was being DESTROYED by the RIVER! I couldn't take any decent pics at night, I kept trying..... I drew the line to show everyone the location of A RIVER flowing through our property? (Not even a stream flows through this location.)
Once the sun came up, I was able to get some wild photos.......
This picture made #85 on CTV's news.ca - 100 Photos that shaped Canada 2012
Our West Entrance - (the Culvert went under the entrance). This is the largest of the 3 washouts.
3rd washout at the Ford Dealership ~
Small Washout in front of the Office, with the Ford Washout in the distance
By late Friday afternoon, the water flow finally slowed. But the gorge started eroding under the main building that houses our Living Quarters and 6 Motel Rooms (it was not water damaged), but we were ordered to evacuate.
(Photo taken by ?)
October 27th, we drove back to see if our home was still intact. It was there, and we walked around in a daze.....
We had plans of landscaping the backyard, but this wasn't quite what we had in mind.
Total destruction inside the barn - We were shocked it was still standing.
Both Chalets were under 2 feet of water - decks destroyed, furniture, flooring, appliances...
The property, and our lower 10 bedrooms destroyed... The water was so high inside these rooms, that even my gorgeous prints and artwork were ruined. :-( Nothing salvageable.... there's no access.
We've more than LOVED this business for 13 years, and just finished with our Best Season Ever! This is just another challenge. We are thankful that no one was hurt in the Wawa Disaster. We are thankful that we had Flood Insurance, but wished it covered land and lost revenues. (Can't have everything!)
Going through something like this with Social Media and Email, made it feel like we weren't alone. Everyone's kind words and support meant more to us than you'll ever know! Thank you!
THE TRANS CANADA HIGHWAY WAS CLOSED FOR ONE WEEK
October 28 - Rebuilding the Trans Canada Highway.... A MASSIVE operation!
Our view never looked quite like this before.......
October 31st - 13 Years ago, we bought the Northern Lights Motel - Oct 31, 1999
A sense of humour is something that Mother Nature cannot take away from us. I laughed when I read this on facebook ~
It inspired me to draw this cartoon - lol!
People always asked how we could keep our sense of humour throughout it all, to which we replied,
November 1 - They opened the highway. We used to have an entrance here - now it's a cliff.
November 2nd - First time I could photograph the Canyon from the HighwayInsurance does not cover LAND, so this is a real bummer.
We were upset about the placement of this (temporary?) ugly telephone pole. But then our sign fell down, and now we are no longer upset about the Pole. Isn't it great, how things work out? lol!
November 13th - here's our new entrance..... ??
Before and After Photos
Our 10 Newest and nicest rooms were underwater. Without access to this building, nothing was salvageable.
January 1, 2013
January 4th (Our 21st Wedding Anniversary) - The rooms overhanging the canyon were not water damaged, but had to be removed. It took 2 days to dump 3,500 TONS of fill into the Canyon for the safe removal of these rooms. Big thanks goes out to Ian Johnston, Royal and Sun Alliance Insurance Company, Gary Potvin Servicemaster, Joe Provost J. Provost Contracting LTD & Millette General Contractors.
Tim Biron, a Moose Hunter, shot this video one week before the flood. (We just closed for the Season)
Even though insurance doesn't cover land, a Road was needed to Demolish the 10 room building
Our Insurance covers buildings and contents only. We applied for Disaster Relief. Disaster relief does not cover lost revenues, insurance deductibles, etc., but we hope to get help fixing the land. It could happen in 6 months to a year. We continue to be Eternal Optimists and hope for the best.
Here's the property now - 12 Rooms gone. The Chalets are absolutely GORGEOUS now. Check them out!
Thank you for Liking us on Facebook and supporting us during our recovery.
We thank Ian Johnston & the Royal and Sun Alliance Insurance Company, Gary Potvin Servicemaster, Joe Provost, James, Dan, J. Provost Contracting LTD, Richard, James, Bill, with Millette General Contractors, Northern Lights Ford, Mark and Teresa (Best Northern Resort), Bonnie & Willy (Bristol Motel), Jerry and Jenny (Columbia Pizza), Judy (North of 17), the Beer Store, the OPP & First Responders, the countless others offering to lend a hand, fund raising, and sending words of encouragement.
We LOVE Sault Ste Marie (my Hometown)! Gary Rooley & Kyle Schneider, from the Super 8 Hotel, Sault Ste Marie, brought the Wawa Flood Victims Generous care packages. Emma Gallo packed a box of baked treats (oh so good!) and businesses in the Soo (listed below) gave donations. Words cannot express how much this gesture meant to us. Thank You so much!
We must thank the PROVINCE! On Dec 7, Wawa was declared a Disaster, therefor will receive financial aid from the Provincial Government.
The Plumbers Union gives a Very Generous Donation $25,000 (Province will match it 2 to 1) Total donation will be $75,000. Dec 5, 2012 update by Shirley Mills.
Dec 12 - Another GENEROUS donation! Our Web site and email Hosting for 2013 - Donated by Bruce MacKay & Razyr Networks. Thank you so much for caring!! We received donations from Ron G, Doug L, Hartley W., Linda & George Z, Bob & Ann P., and Marc C.! The donations have been given to the "Wawa Disaster Relief Fund" and the Province will match it 2 to 1! Thank you! Thank you!
May 25th - Our Online Reservation System, WEBERVATIONS, waived fees for this year. Thank you so much Adam Strickland & the Management Team. We LOVE Webervations, and wouldn't run this Motel without it!
July 23rd - Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association (ORHMA) waived our fees for this year. Thank you so much Lorraine Connelly and Team!! We appreciate it so much!
John and I have always made the BEST of everything we ever had!