Looking back on the Sanders Flood

Sandalwood Park reflects on the February flood that displaced a neighbourhood

By Kristian Partington

Walking through The Village of Sandalwood Park in Brampton on a sunny June morning it’s hard to imagine that only a few short months ago a frozen pipe had burst, seriously flooding Sanders neighbourhood and leaving the village in complete disarray.

Today everything is almost entirely back to normal and, with the exception of a few areas behind closed doors still under repair, you’d never know there had been a problem.

In fact, even on the day of the flood, the village’s emergency preparedness kicked in so well that it was even hard then to tell there was a problem. At first, registered nurse Kiranjot Khakh wondered if there was a scheduled fire drill when she heard the fire alarm sound. She turned to check the fire panel and “oh boy,” she says. “Just water everywhere; it happened so fast.”

She ran to Main Street and already team members were coming her way, eager to do whatever was needed. First, they had to evacuate the affected neighbourhoods, setting up makeshift shelters in the country kitchens and laundry rooms elsewhere in the village. Curtains were hung for privacy and the residents were as eager to help in any way they could.

“Everybody acted so fast,” Kiranjot recalls, even though this was an emergency the team couldn’t really prepare for. People simply came together to do whatever was necessary and there were no job titles or roles in that circumstance – only people acting in the moment to take care of whatever needed to be done.

“Thank you to you and your staff for the wonderful job you all did on Friday night,” said Joanne Vieira in an e-mail to general manager Zoie Mohammed a few days after the flood struck. Joanne’s mother lives in Sanders, and she was grateful with the support she knew her mother received.

“I know that it was a busy night for everyone but never once did I feel that you or your staff did not have things under control. This was clearly evident from when we got the first call to advise of the flood to the last call, which we received to reassure and confirm to us that our Mom was safe and everything was under control.”

Pat Mein-Shields’ husband, Bill, also lives in Sanders and she shared her appreciation with the team in a note as well.

“During the entire process it was noted by several families how calm their loved ones were,” Pat said. “Concerns about how residents would deal with these changes to their normal environment and routines were dispelled.

“Each and every person who works in the Sanders community should be congratulated on a job well done during such unusual and stressful circumstances.”

Indeed, the entire village had to come together to address the immediate challenges, and each team members was up to the task.

“It was really nice to see everybody trying to do their best,” Kiranjot says. “Everything worked out.”