Flooded communities in northwest now eligible for Ontario disaster recovery funding

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Water runs up over the walkway and a road along the Fort Frances riverfront in this drone photo. The province said Thursday it will provide financial assistance to residents and businesses living in flood-stricken areas of northwestern Ontario. (Nathan Calder/Facebook - image credit)
Water runs up over the walkway and a road along the Fort Frances riverfront in this drone photo. The province said Thursday it will provide financial assistance to residents and businesses living in flood-stricken areas of northwestern Ontario. (Nathan Calder/Facebook - image credit)

The province will provide disaster recovery financial assistance to northwestern Ontario communities where spring flooding has damaged homes, buildings and infrastructure in recent weeks.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing announced Thursday the aid applies to the Rainy River district and parts of the Kenora district.

In a news release, the ministry said heavy precipitation and snow melt are behind the flooding, which has affected areas including Fort Frances, Sioux Lookout, Kenora, Ignace and Ear Falls.

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing/Provided
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing/Provided

Northwestern Ontario is among areas of Canada, including the Northwest Territories, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, that have been dealing with significant flooding.

In northwestern Ontario, in April and May, there was three times the precipitation compared to the same time last year, according to the ministry.

 

The disaster assistance program applies to primary residences, small businesses, farms and non-profit organizations. It can help with costs associated with clean-up, repairs or replacing essential items not covered by insurance.

Residents without insurance, or whose insurance doesn't cover essential costs, have until Oct. 7 to apply for assistance, the ministry said.

More information is avaiable on the ministry's website.

Fire crews, residents praised for safety efforts

On Wednesday, newly re-elected Kenora-Rainy River MPP Greg Rickford visited the Fort Frances area.

In an emailed statement to CBC News, Rickford said he helped "government officials, emergency response crews and residents with sandbagging efforts."

"I had the opportunity to meet with members of the community and see more effects of record water levels," Rickford stated. "I joined a technical briefing with Fort Frances stakeholders and a local Indigenous community, and participated in an aerial assessment of flooding areas and dam infrastructure.

"I know there is more work to be done, but I would like to extend my gratitude to the hard-working fire crews, staff and residents who have committed their time to keep communities safe."

A spokesperson for Rickford said the MPP was not available for interviews Thursday, as he's still attending to matters in Fort Frances.

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