Thunder Bay to get provincial disaster relief money
The Ontario government has declared the City of Thunder Bay, the Municipality of Oliver-Paipoonge, and the Township of Conmee disaster areas.
That means the communities are eligible for financial help from the province.
Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Kathleen Wynne said during a press conference Friday that up to $16 million is available to cover the extraordinary costs of the municipalities, and to help individuals cover costs not met by insurance.
"The people of Thunder Bay, Comnee, and Oliver-Paipoonge have suffered tremendous losses in the recent flooding due to the unprecedented rainfall last month," Wynne said. "There's been a great deal of damage to both public infrastructure and to private homes and businesses."
About $13 million will be shared among the three municipal governments, but the bulk of it — $10 million — will go to Thunder Bay.
About $3 million has been earmarked for private citizens in the three communities.
Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs said he estimates damages in the city alone at about $100 million.
"[The province's financial help] is good news amongst all this bad news," Hobbs said. "Sixteen million dollars is going to go a long way to start us in the recovery and rebuilding of Thunder Bay."
Hobbs added the city will also apply to the federal government for financial assistance.
Dennis Brescacin, the director of Administration and Community and Emergency Services noted the city's "best guess is that 3,000 to 5,000 homes were affected by some form of flooding."