Federal Disaster Assistance Program for 2021 BC Floods Exceeds $1 Billion

The mayor of Abbotsford said British Columbia’s farming communities have come a long way from the devastating floods of 2021, but they are still far from a long-term recovery and restoring peace of mind to their residents.

“People are very uneasy,” Ross Siemens said Thursday. “Every time there’s a storm here, I get a little nervous.”

siemens new federal government disaster City Relief Fund. He said rebuilding damaged roads and bridges in November 2021 remains a top priority for the community, with many residents worried about what the future holds.

federal government disaster Aid to help rebuild BC after the floods now exceeds $1 billion, Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair said in Abbotsford. The city was hit hardest when atmospheric river events swollen rivers, displacing thousands of people from their homes, flooding farmlands and drowning thousands of livestock.

But that’s likely just a small part of the final aid package, he says.

“They suffered a lot,” Blair said. “I have met people in temporary housing 14 or 15 months after this event who are still waiting to go home.”

Recovery is still a work in progress. Siemens said that in addition to repairing damaged roads and bridges, crews continue to dig trenches and culverts. Blair was staying in BC to make his second interim payment. federal government disaster A financial assistance program in which Ottawa covers most of the recovery costs of large-scale disasters.

The first payment of $469 million was made in July. His second payment on Thursday is $557 million.

but federal government Last year, the government ultimately spent $5 billion to rebuild the state after a string of natural disasters in 2021, beginning with heat waves and deadly wildfires in June and July, and flooding in November. We estimated that it could cost more than a dollar.

Abbotsford is considered the epicenter of the flood disaster Ravaged BC’s Fraser Valley. Thousands were forced from their homes in the community when a series of dykes were breached and flooded the city.

On Wednesday, Blair traveled to Princeton, British Columbia, about 100 miles southwest of Kelowna. Floods devastated downtown and most homes were still under the boiling water advisory. The water treatment plant in the town of about 2,800 people was damaged by the flood and has not yet been rebuilt.

About 100 kilometers north of Princeton in Merritt, British Columbia, displaced people are still waiting to go home. The city recently said it is using some of her $24 million received from the state for flood recovery to buy temporary housing for some residents.

federal government disaster Assistance begins when the cost of major events such as floods and wildfires reaches a certain amount. The cost depends on the size of the state, with smaller states receiving more assistance from Ottawa. disaster strike.

in British Columbia, federal government Funds cover 50-75% when costs exceed about $17 million. When the cost exceeds about $88 million, Ottawa will cover 90% of him.

The Canadian Insurance Authority said in a statement Thursday that flooding is the biggest severe weather risk in the country and that industry alone cannot provide affordable coverage for people in high-risk areas.

Canadian insurance companies federal government The government said it was proposing to create a nationwide flood insurance program.

“This program will allow Canadians living in areas at high risk of flooding to access the enhanced financial protection that insurance provides, enabling a faster and more holistic recovery process.”

According to the department, in November 2021 disaster With an estimated insured loss of $450 million, it remains the most expensive severe weather event in BC history.

federal government disaster The payment does not cover costs covered by private insurance.

Siemens said it had many “sleepless nights” during the storm, and the new funding will make communities more resilient.

“We are in a better place than before the flood,” Siemens said. “There is still a way to go in the long term and we are working on it.”