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By Mike Pickford
It has been a summer for storms in Orangeville and much of Dufferin County so far this year and the provincial government this week announced it will assist those most in need following the June 23 flash floods that gripped the community.
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs announced last Thursday (Aug. 3) that private property owners in Grand Valley and Mono ravaged by what has been described as a once in a 100-year storm would be eligible for disaster relief grants. The Disaster Assistance for Ontarians program is designed to help cover the costs of cleaning, repairing and replacing essential property after a natural disaster.
Much of Grand Valley found itself under water following the June storm, with the Grand River bursting over its banks. Highway 25 was closed off, with several other streets in the municipality and nearby Waldemar shut down for up to 24 hours waiting for the water to subside. Mono didn't fare much better with the municipality also reporting multiple road closures. In total, the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA) estimated that more than 110 millimetres of rain had fallen over the course of a few hours.
The worst affected by the storms, as noted by Orangeville Mayor Jeremy Williams and members of Mono Council, were private property owners. On July 26, a Provincial Disaster Assessment Team visited a number of properties in Mono and Grand Valley to evaluate the extent of the damage.
The results must have been significant. On Aug. 3 the province activated its disaster assistance program for residents in New Tecumseth, Adjala-Tosorontio, Woolwich, Mapleton, Minto, Mono and Grand Valley affected by flooding. The deadline to apply for disaster relief funding is Dec. 1.
“Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians is designed to help people affected by natural disasters get back on their feet,” the ministry says. “The program provides financial assistance to homeowners, tenants, small owner-operated businesses, farmers and not-for-profit organizations. It helps to cover emergency expenses and costs to repair or replace essential property after a natural disaster.”
Following its review, the province estimated that more than 400 properties within the region had been affected by the floods.
In a release to media last week Dufferin-Caledon MPP Sylvia Jones commended the province for seeing sense and opening the program up to area residents.
“I have received calls from residents affected by flooding in the past weeks. That is why I am pleased that the Minister has decided to activate this program to help people get their lives back to normal,” Ms. Jones said. “I encourage anyone who has been affected by the flooding in Mono and Grand Valley to contact my office to learn more details.”
For more details on the Disaster Assistance for Ontarians program, visit ontario.ca/disasterassistance. To contact MPP Sylvia Jones, call 1-800-265-1603 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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