Province adds Orangeville to list for disaster recovery assistance

September 29, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Mike Pickford

It appears residents affected by this summer’s extensive flooding in Orangeville will receive a helping hand after all with the provincial government announcing late last week it had activated its Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians program in some areas of the community.

Two significant rainfall events ripped through the community on June 23 and August 1, with local homeowners and entrepreneurs bearing the brunt of the damage. In August, Mayor Jeremy Williams made a plea via social media for those impacted by these flood events to get in touch with him so he could lobby for provincial funding. Town staff immediately followed suit, setting up an online tool where individuals could officially report damages they had sustained.

The request for funding followed in the footsteps of neighbouring communities such as Grand Valley and Mono, who were both ravaged by the two storms, the first of which dumped approximately 110 millimetres of rain on Orangeville. During the second storm the town received in excess of 80 mm of rain, with 72.6 mm falling in one hour in the afternoon. Both storms overwhelmed area creeks and municipal infrastructure. Numerous roads had to be closed because of the flooding.

Mayor Williams, who earlier described the events as “absolutely devastating” for local residents, was clearly pleased to announce the community was successful in obtaining flood relief from the province, sharing a detailed message on his personal Facebook page.

“I was notified yesterday of this and I have just now been given the green light from Municipal Affairs Minister Bill Mauro’s staff at Queen’s Park to share this incredible good news,” Mayor Williams wrote. “Money won’t replace treasured items and photos lost in these flood events, but it will help those affected re-build their lives.”

Now, affected individuals, small businesses and not-for-profit organizations that experienced property damage or loss as a result of the floods may be eligible to receive help with emergency and recovery expenses. An application has to be submitted to the province by Jan. 19, 2018.

While the program offers some support, it will not pay for complete renovations to destroyed basements and other areas. It covers “essentials only”, such as furnaces and hot water heaters, but does not include provisions for refinishing recreation rooms and does not pay for items already covered through an insurance policy. Damage from sewer back-up is not eligible under the program, except under special provisions for low-income households.

Eligibility is specific to flood-affected areas of town and, while the ministry’s map includes most of Orangeville, it excludes properties in the west end. Still, Town Staff is encouraging anyone who sustained damage to complete the survey in the hopes the province will provide funding.

More information, program guidelines and the online application form can be found at Page13722.aspx. Contact 1-844-780-8925 if you require further assistance.

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