Flood aid coming, Sask. premier promises
Residents of Maple Creek still waiting for compensation 3 months after floods
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says he'll look into complaints from residents of flood-damaged Maple Creek that disaster relief is taking too long.
A review of the government's disaster assistance policies is now underway, provincial officials confirmed Monday.
The announcement comes three months after massive flooding in Maple Creek, in the southwest of the province, forced people from their homes.
Some town residents have told CBC News they're angry and frustrated that they still haven't received the financial assistance promised them by the province — especially with cold weather around the corner.
"Obviously, that's something that we want to check into," Wall said Monday.
"So far overall, I think, the response to the disasters in various communities has been, on the part of our officials, … swift.
"I think we can always work to do better, so I will have to look at the specific issues being raised there."
Under the province's disaster assistance program, the maximum amount of financial assistance available to victims of the flooding is $240,000 for homeowners, $500,000 for businesses.
The money covers essential, uninsurable property damage caused by flood, tornadoes, plow winds or severe storms.
Among the Maple Creek residents still waiting for compensation is Karen Southwood, a mother of one-year-old twins whose home and farm were damaged and who is now living without a furnace.
Southwood told CBC News that like others in the town, she received an initial cheque for $3,000 from the province but has not seen any more money since.
"Even if they were going to tell us what we're getting, then you could budget for it," Southwood said.
Government officials confirm there is a backlog.
Since June, more than 100 communities have been designated as areas eligible for disaster relief funds.
Storm damage and flooding have ruined homes in Maple Creek, Yorkton, Saskatoon, Regina, the Raymore and Kawakatoose area and North Battleford.
Tom Young, the executive director of protection and emergency services, said the province has never experienced so many flood disasters around the same time.
"We are doing our best that we can, looking for additional engineers and adjusters, dealing with some of the criticisms, perhaps, that you're hearing," he said.