June 5, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The province will offer a financial assistance program for victims of ice-jam flooding earlier this spring, Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General John Foran announced today.
While water levels this spring did not reach the levels of the 2008 flood, there were several regions which had localized flooding in many areas, including the Miramichi, Restigouche and St. John rivers and tributaries. In addition, some residents were affected by ice-jam flooding in early April, most notably in the Hartland area.
The Disaster Financial Assistance Program covers damages and losses that threaten the health and safety of individuals and communities. Once approved for disaster financial assistance, an individual homeowner must pay for the first $1,000 worth of damage. The deductible is automatically waived for social services clients. Small businesses are subject to a deductible of $5,000.
"We are pleased to provide this assistance program for those affected by flooding this spring," said Foran. "While it won't replace what was there before, it can provide basic amounts for lost personal property, and some funding for structural damages."
If a resident cannot pay the deductible amount, he or she may apply to the minister of public safety, through the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization, to have the amount waived. However, this only applies to severe hardship circumstances. Applications for waiver of the deductible must include a copy of the resident's income tax return for last year.
"Although we didn't have the same level of flood damage as 2008, there are individuals and businesses who have been affected, and this program will help them to ensure that their properties are safe," said Foran. "We were also happy to see that many residents were more prepared this year for possible flooding, and did their part to move belongings and minimize the risk to their properties."
Residents who have not already done so may report their damage to Service New Brunswick at 1-888-298-8555, or online at http://www.snb.ca/emo. The deadline to submit information is July 17, 2009.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Background information follows. MEDIA CONTACT: Daniel Lessard, communications, Public Safety, 506-453-4433.
Backgrounder - Disaster Financial Assistance ProgramWhat the program covers
The Disaster Financial Assistance Program will help cover the costs of basic need items. For example, it will help to pay for basic repairs of structural damage to a family home or small business. It will also cover costs for essential items, such as:
The program covers only the essentials. It does not cover:
An individual homeowner must pay the first $1,000 worth of damage. If you cannot pay this amount, you may apply to the minister, through the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization, to have this amount waived. However, this only applies to severe hardship circumstances. Applications for waiver of the deductible must include a copy of your last year's income tax return.
Small businesses are subject to a deductible of $5,000.
The deductible is automatically waived for social services clients.