Wawa is our own version of New Jersey – by Christina Blizzard (Sudbury Star – November 3, 2012)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

It’s always heartwarming to see good neighbours coming together to help one another. Hydro companies across the province are sending crews to aid our storm-ravaged neighbours to the south in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, where tropical storm Sandy ripped down power lines. But what about Wawa?

The small northern Ontario community was recently devastated by a different storm. Roads were washed out, houses split apart — and one motel was swept into Lake Superior.

Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Michael Mantha is pleading for the government to declare Wawa a disaster area, so they can access provincial funds through the Ontario Disaster Relief and Assistance Plan (ODRAP) to help fix the roads and bridges that were destroyed.

“We need the province to step up and really help them promptly to start moving the funds so they can start doing the repairs that they need,” Mantha told reporters Thursday. Even before the storm hit, Wawa was struggling for its economic survival. The community is reeling even further with so much of its infrastructure washed away.

Mantha was in Wawa last weekend and says the damage is beyond belief. “You’re looking at houses that have basically been washed away,” he said.

“Individuals’ dreams are gone into Lake Superior. Businesses have been devastated and local businesses have lost some of their property. The area as a whole has been affected,” he said.

Mayor Linda Nowicki says the storm that destroyed the community is just the final blast in a series of catastrophes that has devastated the community. “The extent of the damage here is a financial disaster for our community,” she said in a telephone interview.

“An eight-foot wall of water hit that motel unit.

For the rest of this article, please go to the Sudbury Star website: http://www.thesudburystar.com/2012/11/01/wawa-tries-to-recover

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