Volunteers Help Saskatchewan Campground Storm Cleanup

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August 18, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

A massive storm that ripped through northern Saskatchewan on the Aug. 1 long weekend is still being felt. In the aftermath, many communities are still working to clean up the damage, CTV, Saskatoon, reported.

For Richard, John, and Ramona Farago, the work means 16-hour days without rest at their Clarke Lake Lodge property, about 40 miles north of Big River. On Aug. 1, a tornado ripped through their property, and they've been dealing with the fallout ever since.

"We're only able to operate at 25%," says Ramona. "I've had to turn people away."

The night of the storm, Richard acted quickly to move guests into the lodge and shop. His actions proved necessary, as huge trees, some at more than 70 feet tall, were ripped out by their roots, and fell on buildings, cars and tents. The Faragos say it was a miracle no one was hurt, but the damage to the campground was extensive.

But now comes the truly hard part. The family has spent every day for the past two weeks cleaning the site. Ramona says she's thankful for the help they do have, a small crew of about four people, who are using their vacations to help out. "They're not going fishing when they come up to see us. They're putting their holidays on hold to help us."

Five out the eight cabins are damaged, floor joists are cracked and door and window frames are twisted. There are patches of exposed insulation and leaks in nearly every roof. Though the Faragos have contacted their insurance provider and even some government departments, they've yet to hear anything.

"We don't know what to do at this point," says Ramona, "we probably could begin rebuilding them if they could only tell us what's going to be covered and what isn't. We have to wait for all the inspectors and adjusters to finish their examinations."

In the meantime, the Faragos are burning up 90 gallons of diesel a day to do clean up to try and salvage some of their fishing season. The family is also dependent on hunters in the fall who come to the lodge. With roughly a month's worth of work to clear their bush trails, this could mean more lost revenue.

With no word from the insurance companies, the Faragos have been left on their own for the time being, working hard to get their property back on track.

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