New Brunswick

At least 71 people still displaced after major spring flood

At least 71 people remain out of their homes after record flooding hit areas of the province in April and May, according to the Emergency Measures Organization.

Emergency Measures Organization has received 2,627 applications for disaster financial assistance

About 71 people are living in temporary housing provided by the Red Cross, but the number of people not in their homes is probably higher, according to the Emergency Measures Organization. (Shane Fowler/CBC)

At least 71 people remain out of their homes after record flooding hit areas of the province in April and May, according to the Emergency Measures Organization.

Geoffrey Downey, a spokesperson for the Emergency Measures Organization, said the number of people who are still homeless after the flood could actually be higher.

The estimate of 71 only accounts for people living in temporary housing registered with the Red Cross and not residents living with friends and family and not registered.

"Some people are unfortunately experts with this," said Downey in an interview with Information Morning Fredericton on Monday.

"This isn't the first time they've had to do it."

About 550 households have received funding from the Red Cross that came from its flood appeal fundraising.

Work moving along

The provincial government says recovery work is well underway.

According to emergency measures organization, 2,627 people have applied for disaster financial assistance.

While Downey wasn't aware of any of those payments being sent out, he did say 108 people have received advance payments from the government.

Geoffrey Downey, a spokesperson for the Emergency Measures Organization, said 1,420 of 1,871 health and safety inspections had been completed as of June 1. As of Monday that number rose to 1,709 after weekend inspections were taken into account. (CBC)
Of the 2,627 applications, 1,871 requested a health and safety inspection, 1,709 of which have been completed as of Monday.

According to Downey, that number was 1,420 on June 1, meaning 289 inspections were done over the weekend.

"Weekends are very productive times for the health and safety inspection teams. People are around and the work is getting done," said Downey.

"Hopefully in days to come we'll be able to report that more people are getting back into their homes."

Mike Mallery, an inspector with the provincial government, said most of the properties between Fredericton and Saint John on the St. John River have had their inspections completed.

He said the inspection unit is switching their focus to other areas.

"We still have some outlying properties throughout the province that people have registered that are away from the St. John River and there are still a few probably up around Grand Falls area that we need to pick up," said Mallery.

'Back to normal'

The inspection unit has nine teams of five inspectors working on the inspections, according to Mallery.

"They assess the properties, give the homeowner some idea of what they need to do to get themselves back to normal," said Mallery.

About 12,000 properties provincewide were affected in some way by the flooding with Mallery describing the extent of damage homeowners have to deal with as "wide [ranging]."

The amount of damage done to properties has been wide ranging according to Mike Mallery, an inspector with the Fire Prevention and Inspection Unit. (Catherine Harrop/CBC)

"It could be ranging from anything from perhaps just an inch of water, debris on the lawn to water onto the first floor, basement structural damage," said Mallery.

Downey said if damage is extensive enough, 80 per cent of the property's assessed value, the province would offer to buy out the homeowner, but there are no plans to pay for moving homes to higher ground.

"The province isn't going to pay to lift your home," said Downey.

Downey said it's not too late to sign up for disaster financial assistance and no deadline has been put in place for applications.

"We're encouraging people that suffered damage to register as soon as possible, but at this point we don't have a deadline so there's no great rush," said Downey.

The province is setting up one-day offices in several flood-affected communities to help residents fill out disaster relief applications and answer questions. They will be open from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m.

  • June 6 in Lincoln and Grand Bay-Westfield
  • ​June 7 in Keswick and Kingston
  • June 8 in Maugerville and Oak Point
  • June 11 in Jemseg and Quispamsis
  • June 12 in Minto and Clifton Royal
  • June 13 in Chipman
  • June 15 in Cambridge-Narrows

With files from Information Morning Fredericton


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