N.B. village seeks $750K in flood aid

The village of Port Elgin is asking the New Brunswick government for financial help after a weekend storm caused about $750,000 worth of damage to homes and businesses.

The village of Port Elgin is turning to the New Brunswick government for financial assistance after a weekend storm caused approximately $750,000 worth of damage to about 50 local homes and businesses.

Port Elgin declared a state of emergency Sunday after a "weather bomb" hit the Maritimes and caused a massive storm surge in the southeastern New Brunswick village.

Village officials have sent a report to the provincial government estimating the storm caused $750,000 in damage. But the village will have to wait to see if the province picks up any of the financial losses.

Flood water came in through the basement windows of Patsy Murphy's house, filling it up to the main floor. She said she could smell wires burning but when she tried to leave her home, she had nowhere to go.

"I just stood on the doorstep because we were completely surrounded by water," Murphy said.

Her husband came to her rescue in the family's tractor. The water was too deep for her to get inside the tractor, so he scooped her up in its bucket.

The couple's garage, van and basement were swamped. The vehicle is covered but their insurance company is refusing to replace anything else.

"We have no insurance. It's an act of God," she said.

Meanwhile, her sister-in-law who lives next door was one of the lucky ones. Mary Murphy's basement flooded but she can salvage most of her things and her insurance will cover the damage.

"I have two wash tubs in the basement for my washer and dryer and according to my insurance adjuster that's how the water came up," she said.

Dog drowned

Steve Alward's loss was more personal. He estimates his damage at upwards of $40,000 —and his 10-year-old chocolate Labrador retreiver drowned in his kennel when the basement flooded.

He knows the village is asking the province for help but even if some funding comes through, he doubts it will cover much of loss.

"What they're looking at is just basic assistance for essentials like furnaces, hot water tanks, electrical," Alward said.

"Anything such as four wheelers, my garage, my tools — because I don't work as a tradesperson with those tools — everything is a complete writeoff and won't be covered."

Tony Fagan is facing a similar hit. The basement apartment on Fagan's property flooded on the weekend. He said he never thought it would happen so the house wasn't insured.

"This basement should have never been affected. It's like the Titanic, it should have never sank," he said.

Fagan is remaining upbeat despite the financial setback. He said the storm is a small slap by Mother Nature.