Disaster relief funding approved, but will it help all Windsor flood victims?
Published Thursday, September 7, 2017 12:50PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, September 8, 2017 6:04PM EDT
Residents in Windsor who were flooded during last week’s historic rainfall will be able to make a claim to the province for disaster relief funding.
Mayor Drew Dilkens shared the news as he toured flood-ravaged neighbourhoods Thursday with Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath.
The ministry says homeowners in all municipalities doused by a record-breaking rainfall will be able to apply to Ontario's Disaster Recovery Assistance program.
The news follows a visit by two ministry assessment teams who surveyed the damage in Windsor on Tuesday.
But there's a catch. Under the program, flooding caused by sewer backup will not be eligible.
That upsets Mayor Dilkens. "I think residents in this community are frustrated by that."
The news also angers the Ontario NDP Leader.
"Sewer water, no coverage. why?" questions Horwath. "Why all these parameters that prevent people from getting help as opposed to assuring they do get help?" Horwath pledges to press the province to offer more help.
Ministry spokesperson Mark Cripps tells CTV Windsor the program is intended to cover costs that can't be insured, such as overland flooding.
Cripps adds the program makes a provision for low income families and sewer backup so those people can be eligible.
Applications for disaster assistance relief are available on the ministry website.
Application forms will also be available at City of Windsor community centres and the city hall reception desk in the coming days.
Family Services Windsor-Essex will be available to assist residents who require help filling out applications. Once residents have the application form, they are requested to call 519-966-5010, or toll free 1-888-933-1831, during the day for assistance.
Samaritan’s Purse International Relief Canada is joining the relief effort in Windsor.
Samaritan’s Purse mobilizes specialized staff and equipment, as well as hundreds of volunteers, when natural disasters occur. Their focus is low-income residents, seniors, people with disabilities, and those who don’t know where else to turn.
More than 200 millimetres of rain fell on Windsor and the surrounding areas over a 24-hour period on Aug. 29, washing out major streets and letting water into basements across the city.
The City of Windsor is bringing in extra garbage trucks and equipment to collect water logged castoff belongings.
The city is also cancelling recycling collection for the remainder of the week so all available personnel can focus on collecting flood materials. Yard waste collection is also on hold for the rest of September.
The public drop-off depot on Central Ave. is also open and accepting flood damaged materials for free, including carpeting, padding, dry wall, furniture, and baseboards.
However, wait times at the dump can be significant at times.
The public drop-off is open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. from Monday to Saturday.