On May 17th, 1974, the city of Galt in Ontario, Canada suffered through rising flood waters. This was caused by a lot of rain which previously hit the city and the decision that was made to open the reservoirs. The nearby Grand River was already flooded to the max. It got to the point where the water flowed over the riverbanks and into the downtown area of Galt. This became known as the “Great Flood of 1974.”
The flood came about waist high to the average adult. The streets were filled with debris from nearby restaurants and businesses, including pans and pots from a Chinese restaurant and shoes from a department store. You’d think this would have been a perfect time for people to start looting these stores of their merchandise. However, one officer of the law named Const. Jack Shuttleworth wanted to deter people from doing that.
Const. John Shuttleworth wore waders as he stood waist-deep in Cambridge on May 17, 1974. (Mike Hanley/Canadian Press)
While the flood waters were around 3 to 4 feet high, he stood outside a pharmacy located at the intersection of Dickson Street and Ainslie Street. He stood calmly outside the store as the water was up to his waist. Him being there gave law-abiding citizens comfort in knowing that the law was still very much in force during this time of hardship. More importantly, he helped deter people from attempting to loot any of the stores.