Flooded out and need a ride? Just call New Brunswick’s ‘Uber Rob’
It’s called Uber Rob’s “Rapid Relief Rescue Boat Service,” and it’s at your service if you live on Darling’s Island, a suburb of Saint John.
“I have an appointment in an hour and he’s here and last year he was here every day for us,” said Dollna Beyea, a local resident heading into Saint John for a medical appointment.
She would have taken her car but the only way off the island is flooded.
That’s where Rob DeKany or ‘Uber Rob’ comes in: he ferries islanders back and forth from the island to the mainland from 5:30 in the morning until 11:00 at night, for free.
“He’s our hero, has been hero, we just, we owe a million dollars to Rob really. He is the hero,” said resident Sheri Trecartin, while patiently waiting for a lift.
When the Kennebecasis River and Hampton Marshes flood, DeKany is there, he provided the same service last year so that his neighbours wouldn’t be stranded on the island. Aa longtime native and self-proclaimed ‘water baby,’ DeKany knows how to manoeuvre his way around the dangerous waterway, an area that isn’t supposed to be under water.
“It’s about 10 to 14 feet now over the mainland so we’re avoiding a lot of underwater hazards. The biggest hazard right now is downed trees big logs and stuff like that,” DeKany said.
The province is looking to raise and realign Darlings Island Road, which you can’t see right now as it’s under water.
WATCH: N.B. resident hopes year-long preparations will hold back flood waters
“If they get this causeway built, it will definitely make a big difference with us, but is an awful thing to contend with,” said island resident Murray White.
The province has stationed two boats operated by the Department of Natural Resources and first responders are set up on the island just in case of an emergency, add in ‘Uber Rob’ and it’s quite an efficient operation.
“Everybody was worried but now the comradery is through the roof and people who didn’t know each other on the island are becoming friends,” said DeKany from his boat.
The silver lining to be found in a week’s worth of dark clouds and more rain on its way is a community that’s come together under less than ideal circumstances.
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