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Alberta rental operators rush to aid flood victims

1840009_wayne-and-dana-mcneil-with-shannon-divall-right_smallJune 24, 2013 - Rental operators in southern Alberta have been swamped with requests for dehumidifiers, pumps, fans, generators and light towers in the wake of the worst flooding in the province's history. Many have put in orders for extra equipment and they say suppliers have stepped up to meet the challenge, but "there probably is not enough equipment in all of Alberta," according to Tony Canevaro of Cameron Equipment Rentals in Calgary.


June 24, 2013
By Patrick Flannery

June 24, 2013 – Rental operators in southern Alberta have been swamped with requests for dehumidifiers, pumps, fans, generators and light towers in the wake of the worst flooding in the province's history. Many have put in orders for extra equipment and they say suppliers have stepped up to meet the challenge, but "there probably is not enough equipment in all of Alberta," according to Tony Canevaro of Cameron Equipment Rentals in Calgary.

"It is a bottomless pit right now," Brad Seamens of Rogers Rent-All in Calgary agrees. Seamens has brought in extra shipments of pumps and generators, but everything is out. Complicating matters is the impact of the flooding on the shop itself, with several staff evacuated from their homes and only able to work part time while they try to deal with their living situation. Seamens says many of the bridges over the river have been shut down, leaving traffic snarled and staff unable to get in to work.

 1840009_wayne-and-dana-mcneil-with-shannon-divall-right_small 
Calgary residents recover their mud-covered possessions from a flooded home. Photo by Ted Rhodes of the Calgary Herald.


 

Canevaro says the main demand is coming from restoration contractors trying to repair the flood damage. Large dessicant dehumidifiers, LGR dehumidifiers, six-inch pumps, generators, light towers and street sweepers have been on constant duty. Cameron Rentals has tripled its dehumidifier fleet in response to the disaster, and Canevaro says Cavalier Industries has done a great job of making extra Quest equipment available. Canevaro says everyone is amazed at the extent of the flooding, which is being blamed for unusual levels of rain on the unmelted mountain snow pack. "There is more than twice as much water as in 2005," he says.

Clayton Wenzel at A-Plus Equipment in Medicine Hat says the city was better prepared for this flooding than it was in 2005, but the disruption has still been severe. He has been able to meet the demand for equipment with his existing fleet, but the real work has not started yet as the South Saskatchewan River in Medicine Hat only crested on June 22 and no one in the flooded flat areas near the river has been allowed to return to their homes. "The actual clean-up has not started yet," he explains. "When people get back home is when things are really going to skyrocket."