Trouty, Newfoundland and Labrador — The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, surveyed hurricane damage in a CH-124 Sea King helicopter September 27. Before returning to base, he paid a surprise visit to Trouty, a community hit hard by Hurricane Igor.
Soldiers from 4 ESR inspect the medium girder bridge they constructed with Reservists from 56 Engineer Squadron for the residents of Trouty on the Bonavista Penninsula.
Paved roads, bridges, culverts and even a home had failed to withstand the raging onslaught of water. “I’ve lived here 22 years and never seen anything like this,” said Harold Stanley, a long time resident. “The fella’s house was washed away and never to be seen again.”
Community members believe Hurricane Igor has washed the beauty away from their tiny bit of paradise, but Minister MacKay reassured the residents that help was on its way. The following day, the rebuilding had begun under the humanitarian assistance operation, Op LAMA.
Once the road and pad preparation were completed, sappers from 4 Engineer Support Regiment (4 ESR) at CFB Gagetown and Reservists from 56 Engineer Squadron, St. John’s, joined one padre at the crack of dawn to begin the process of assembling a medium girder bridge with a military load capacity of 70 tons.
CF engineers installed a medium girder bridge to reconnect the small community of Trouty to the mainland after Hurricane Igor destroyed the only bridge providing access in and out the town.
“A large number of reservists are out doing other things today: route recces, culvert checks and meeting with the locals,” said LCol Goodman, Commanding Officer of 4 ESR. “I think this is a perfect example of where the Reserves and the Regular force can come together in an environment where, really, we’re counting on them, because they have the local knowledge [and] local understanding of the situation. So they can really be our face in the public in a combined Army team.”
Later in the day, the completed bridge spanned the 70-metre gap.
“I think having the Army here is a Godsend,” said a woman, who did not want to be identified.
Article and photos by Sergeant Todd Berry, Army News
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