B.C. announces more relief funding for Kootenay families hit by flooding

Grand Forks residents frustrated with emergency preparedness plans after May floods

B.C. has announced that families struggling with the aftermath of devastating spring floods in the Kootenay region are getting more money for relief.

Premier John Horgan made the announcement during a visit to Grand Forks, which was one of the hardest-hit areas last month.

Horgan renewed his pledge to match every dollar raised by the Red Cross, and said a new fund will give an additional $2,800 per household.

The extra money is to help families with long-term recovery.

"We are going to put in place now a transitional fund that will be renewable to make ensure citizens still dislocated from their homes will have resources to take care of their needs," the premier said.

Thousands forced from homes

More than 4,500 people were forced from their homes by flooding in May. Thousands more were told to be ready to leave on short notice.

Dozens of Canadian Armed Forces members were dispatched to relieve emergency workers, volunteers and residents who worked for days on end to protect homes and businesses from further damage.

Many homes in Grand Forks, particularly the Ruckle neighbourhood, were coated with mud from floor to ceiling. Cupboards were so swollen with water, they couldn't be pried open.

Horgan's visit to Grand Forks was his first in-person look at the flooding aftermath.

He said he came away from the day with respect for residents' resilience.

"We did a walk through south Ruckle and what struck me most was how people come together in times of crisis," he said.

A statement said the Recovery Transition Program will start when emergency social services end. Assistance will go to primary-residence homes that have been deemed unlivable. 

The program will last up to 90 days once it starts.

Emergency officials in B.C. said there are still up to 200 people out of their homes in wake of the floods.

Read more from CBC British Columbia