Oct. 23, 2008
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The provincial government has provided more than $11 million in disaster financial assistance to date to victims of the 2008 spring flood.
More than 85 per cent of individual and small business claims have been paid in full; the remainder will be processed in the next few weeks. More than 800 eligible claims for assistance were filed with the Emergency Measures Organization (EMO) following major flooding along the St. John River in April and May.
Most of the damage was reported in the Edmundston and Fredericton regions. However, localized flooding and damage were reported in other regions as well.
For the first time, home and small business owners were offered advance payments of up to $4,000 to help with urgent repairs. This year's program also provided an opportunity for claimants to supplement their damage claims by 15 per cent to undertake mitigation projects to help reduce the impacts of future floods. This had included measures such as raising a home or moving heating and electrical systems above the flood line.
To prevent future damage, EMO recommends that any new construction or renovations in flood-prone areas be built at least 50 cm (18 inches) above the historical high water mark.
"Our government recognizes that recovering from the flood has been a very difficult process for many New Brunswickers, and we remain committed to assisting residents as they get back on their feet," said John W. Foran, minister of public safety and solicitor general. "Our province has been hit by three significant flood events in less than six months: the spring flood along the St. John River, flash flooding during the New Brunswick Day weekend, and post-tropical storm Hanna. Extreme weather seems to be occurring more frequently than in the past, and we all have a responsibility to recognize the risks and do what is necessary to protect ourselves and our property."
The Department of Public Safety's EMO co-ordinates preparedness activities and provincial-level response in emergencies or disasters. EMO encourages New Brunswickers to be prepared to remain self-sufficient for up to 72-hours in the event of an emergency. For more information visit: http://www.gnb.ca/RiverWatch.
MEDIA CONTACT: Chrystiane Mallaley, media relations, Department of Public Safety, 506-444-5267.