Cory Abt doesn’t have to worry about the rising level of Lake Ontario affecting his Virgil home, but he is concerned about residents living along the waterfront.
“It’s not just a Dock Area problem, it’s a community problem,” he said.
“Many of the residents in the Dock Area are seniors, and we would like to help if we could.”
Abt has offered the assistance of the local Royal Canadian Air Cadet squadron, and said he has also asked Virgil Business Associatio members if they would help. He attended Friday’s Town-organized meeting for waterfront residents to see if there was any plan to organize volunteer assistance, but when he realized there wasn’t, offered it himself.
“My intent in going to the meeting was that I thought there might be a call to action, something put together to help. I’ve talked to people at the squadron and they are happy to help if needed.”
In the absence of that, he said, he offered the assistance of the cadets. Most of them will be going away to attend organized cadet camps in the summer, but they’re available now, he said, and the sense he got from the meeting was, “we have to move quickly.”
He’s left his contact information with Brett Ruck, so he can pass it on to anyone approaching the Town for help, he said.
The older cadets, aged 16 to 18, are a relatively small group, but they can always count on their friends if needed, said Abt.
Marilyn Shepherd and her husband Paul are waterfront residents who are dealing with rising water and damaging wave impact.
They have placed sandbags in strategic spots along their shoreline, but the sandbags didn’t stand up to last week’s wind, considered mild in comparison to what is to be expected in coming weeks.
The sandbags were moved around and in some cases carried off by wave action, Paul told environmental supervisor Brett Ruck.
He asked that some of the large white bags, the ones the Town is using, be made available to residents — referred to as metre bags, they hold 2,000 pounds of rock and are being used for shoreline protection. Ruck said he’d look into that possibility, but for now what the Town has to offer residents are the much smaller sandbags, he said.
Even those are heavy to lug around, said Marilyn, who added residents might welcome the help of the cadets if they are available.
“Most of us are doing that work ourselves,” she said. “To have some young, strong help would be great.”