Spring flood damage estimate swells to nearly $17M

The estimated damage to homes, businesses and public infrastructure in New Brunswick from spring flooding has jumped to nearly $17 million.

Temporary offices to help flood victims apply for disaster assistance will remain open until Aug. 1

The estimated damage to homes, businesses and public infrastructure in New Brunswick from spring flooding has jumped to nearly $17 million.

About 920 reports of damage totalling an estimated $16.9 million have been received so far, Public Safety Minister Bruce Northrup said in a statement.

This Tim Horton's in Sussex was just one of the hundreds of businesses and homes damaged by flooding in April. (David Smith/Canadian Press)
Temporary government offices set up in Sussex and Grand Falls to assist flood victims in applying for disaster financial assistance will be extended until Aug. 1, said Northrup.

They had been slated to close on June 27.

"It is important that we keep these offices open so people affected by this spring's flooding can get help with the process," said Northrup.

Northrup's Kings East riding includes some of the flooded areas around Sussex.

The deadline to apply for financial assistance is Aug. 8. The deadline to register was May 30.

Heavy rains and warmer temperatures caused a rapid rise in water levels and ice jams due to snow-pack melting and ice-cover deterioration in several river systems across the province in April.

Damage in May stood at $12M

On May 2, the Alward government announced a federal-provincial disaster financial assistance program for damage to the hundreds of homes, businesses and communities not covered by insurance.

At that time, damage was estimated to be about $12 million.

The maximum assistance for structural repairs to private residences damaged since April 15 is $120,000 — a 50 per cent increase from the previous cap of $80,000.

The maximum allowable amount for damage to small businesses and not-for-profit organizations is $500,000, he said.

The program will also offer a buy-out of up to $120,000 in cases where structural damages exceed 80 per cent of the appraised value of the property.

The temporary disaster assistance offices opened on May 5 to help residents with the application process.

The Sussex office is in the Justice Building, 707 Main St. The phone number is 506-432-2635.

The Grand Falls office is in the Grand Falls Municipal Complex, 131 Pleasant St. The phone number is 506-473-7595.

The hours of operation for the offices are 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. People can also call to book an after-hours appointment.