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Canadian relief for Moore tornado victims denied at border

A tornado in Moore, Okla., killed 24 people and injured nearly 400 more on May 20. It destroyed 1,200 homes and damaged another 10,000.CBC

A Canadian shipment of relief goods bound for storm-ravaged Oklahoma has been stopped at the Canada-U.S. border in Windsor, Ont.

American officials will not allow the 20,000 kilograms of food, blankets and diapers into the country until every item on board is itemized in alphabetical order and has the country of origin of every product noted.  

Dennis Sauve, the volunteer co-ordinator for Windsor Lifeline Outreach and the food bank co-ordinator at the Windsor Christian Fellowship, the two organizations that gathered the goods, said it’s a “physical impossibility” to do the paperwork required in time to get the perishable food to Oklahoma before it spoils.

Because U.S. President Barack Obama hasn’t declared Moore, Okla., tornado a disaster area, the 52-foot trailer of goods is considered a commercial shipment rather than humanitarian aid.

A tornado three kilometres wide ripped through Moore on May 20. The twister killed 24 people and injured close to 400. It destroyed 1,200 homes and damaged another 10,000.

Several companies gave donations

Sauve’s group secured skids of food donated from Heinz Canada, a refrigerated truck from ADT Transportation and fresh fruits and vegetables from a number of greenhouses in Leamington, Ont., southeast of Windsor.

“It was very rapid. By the hour it was swelling up in size. We were absolutely thrilled to be able to do this,” Sauve said. “I had no dream at all it would be this difficult. I never dreamt we would be called to the table on being able to give this food to people in need.”

The shipment was to be sent to the Gate Church or Oklahoma City, about 20 minutes away from the devastation.

Bishop Tony Miller called the hang-up “very unfortunate.” He said his church has been waiting to receive the goods all week.

“We were excited that our friends internationally were willing to send resources. They worked hard to put it together,” said Miller, when reached en route to Moore on Friday.

The truck was originally scheduled to leave Wednesday. Instead, it’s parked in Leamington.

“They were kind of shocked at how much we were able to get together,” Sauve said.

The truck was loaded with so much food and supplies, it was initially overweight and volunteers had to removed skids.

Sauve said U.S. agents have asked to physically inspect the produce and two skids of rice, donated by Dainty Rice in Windsor.

In an effort to help the shipment pass through customs, Dainty Rice provided paperwork and NAFTA certificates for the rice.

Load considered ‘commercial’

As of Friday, the truck still had not pulled out.

Sauve said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is now asking for documentation of every item on the truck, including manufacturer’s documentation and country of origin before it will approve the shipment as “safe for consumption.”

“That documentation for us would be an impossibility,” Sauve said.

He is now worried the fresh food, picked on Wednesday, will soon spoil.

“We’re holding our breath and saying our prayers,” Sauve said.

Miller, meanwhile, has asked his congressman for help. He emailed U.S. Congressman James Langford, who in turn raised the concern with FEMA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

“That’s not something that ever crossed my mind, that we’d have these issues,” Miller said. “Especially when it’s coming from reputable people.

“They only had the heart to help people.”


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8 Responses to Canadian relief for Moore tornado victims denied at border

  1. tammyc says:

    It doesn’t matter if the douchebag in the white house declares a disaster …the f#@king cunt of a Govenor in OK can declare a disaster emergency. This is where the puking starts….you got fake victims from sandy hook and boston raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars on their sad sack of shit fake facebook donation pages but try to get some food to some needy folks who could use it and were actually in a real life disaster which killed and hurt people and for some bullshit reason any aid to them gets cut off.
    When do we get tired of saying WTF and start changing this?

  2. Paul R. says:

    This political border is there to keep people subdued, separated, under control of its so-called leadership. Better yet, impounded by its bureaucracy. Mail to Canada used to take at the most one week, after 9/11 it takes three to four weeks.

  3. diggerdan says:

    If we were a damned country we could take care of our own and we would not need any gd damned f`n help from any one else PERIOD. Do we take care of our own people or not!! We are the US of A. and we should be proud of it damnit.!!!

    • Sandi says:

      I agree digger that we should take care of our own and be proud Americans but there is not a whole lot to be proud of anymore. I am ashamed to be an American right now when there is a truck full of relief for the tornado victims sitting on the border waiting to be delivered to babies who need diapers or maybe a lil toddler who is hungry…..do you think the parents care right now it came from Canada? It’s an act of kindness. You’re angry, I’m angry and I’m sure a lot more….let’s vent out anger to our unsympathectic nitwits in government starting with Congressman James Langford from Ok.

      • rhumstruck says:

        “You’re angry, I’m angry and I’m sure a lot more….let’s vent out anger to our unsympathectic nitwits in government…”

        I played no part in the (s)election process. Nor am I represented in Congress
        We are left with only one option and that requires a massive show of force.
        Some will die, yes. But forty years from now, on your deathbed will you be able to proudly recite your involvement in the 2nd American revolution or will you be too ashamed to teach your grandchildren right from wrong?
        (wow, that sounded a bit like William Wallace! Screw it I’m posting it anyway!)

  4. R.C. says:

    I’m not ashamed of bring an American! I am ashamed of the Elitist Hoards’ control of our members of Congress & the other Govt Agencies that claim to be Americans but are really Socialistic Communists—-If they are EXPOSED they’ll crawl back into their Coward Holes!!! LIBERTY & FREEDOM WILL RULE

  5. flek says:

    I’m angry with the tiny country within the country trying to control every f*@&kin molecule.


  6. Victor says:

    Well the irony is too have the FDA asking for documentation for the food on the truck. The same FDA who push GMO’s promote the use of known cancer causing chemicals in food, promote steroids in meats. The same FDA who is in favor of the use of fluoride in water, knowing it doesn’t do anything but provide aluminum smelters the ability to dispose a bi product from the smelting process not too mention the vaccines they promote loaded with mercury. They’re worried about a truck load of Canadian products, we don’t intentionally poison ourselves and reject the majority of the products the FDA approves.


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