Hamilton

Hamilton declares last week's rain storm a disaster so residents can get grants

The city has declared last week's flooding a disaster so homeowners with water damage can apply for grants to fix it.
Calvin Huizinga, a city wastewater collection system inspector, checks a manhole on Bayside Avenue on the beach strip last week. The city has declared the rainstorm a disaster so homeowners can apply for compassionate grants. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

The city has declared last week's flooding a disaster so homeowners with water damage can apply for grants to fix it.

Hamilton council voted unanimously Wednesday to deem April 21 to May 6 a disaster, unlocking the Residential Municipal Relief Assistance Program.

Under the program, homeowners with flooded basements can apply for compassionate grants for up to $1,000. The money comes from the city's storm sewer reserve.

The move comes after a major rain last week that flooded parts of Hamilton. It particularly hammered the beach strip, where erosion and flooding closed part of the waterfront trail.

The rain came about two weeks after a similar storm flooded parts of Dundas.

Chad Collins, Ward 5 councillor who represents the beach area, moved the motion.

Coun. Sam Merulla from Ward 4 in the east end said the problem isn't as bad as it used to be before the city did major infrastructure upgrades to ward off basement flooding. This is particularly true in his area.

In the days when he relied on a pager, "from the moment the rain would fall, I would count to seven — one thousand one, one thousand two — and the pager would start going off."

The grants will be available to homeowners whose basements were flooded as a direct result of the storm.

​Anyone interested can call 1-866-596-2242 to reach the program administrators, Cunningham Lindsey Canada. 

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