Thunder Bay declared a ‘Disaster Area’

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NetNewsledger.com Developing StoryTHUNDER BAY – The provincial government has declared that Thunder Bay has been declared a ‘disaster area’ and will now be eligible for funds for the clean up from the provincial government.

The McGuinty government is committing up to $16 million to the City of Thunder Bay, the Township of Conmee and the Municipality of Oliver-Paipoonge to help recover from recent flood damage.

Ontario is declaring the affected lands a disaster area for the purpose of the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program. The funding will go towards covering extraordinary costs to the municipalities and to assist individuals for costs not met by insurance.

“Our government is committed to helping the residents, emergency workers and municipal officials for their efforts to get their communities back on their feet. It’s important that we support one another during these difficult times,” stated Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

“This provincial response will go a long way in relieving our communities from the extraordinary costs caused by this disaster,” shared Michael Gravelle MPP Thunder Bay-Superior North.

Bill Mauro said, “There has been tremendous personal loss and suffering in several of our communities. Our provincial assistance will reduce the financial burden on municipalities and individuals.”

Provincial officials are working with municipal staff to assess the full extent of flood damage and determine all eligible costs.

The announcement was made at a press conference in Thunder Bay by Kathleen Wynne, Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

  1. What is the Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program (ODRAP)?

    The Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance Program (ODRAP) is intended to ease the hardship suffered by private homeowners, farmers, small business enterprises and non-profit organizations, whose essential property has been damaged in a sudden and unexpected disaster, such as a severe windstorm, tornado, flood, forest fire or ice storm.  ODRAP provides funds to those who have sustained heavy losses for essential items such as shelter and the “necessities of life.”

  2. Does ODRAP cover the cost of all disaster damages?

    ODRAP does not provide full cost recovery for all damages resulting from a disaster: it helps eligible recipients restore essential furnishings and property only to pre-disaster condition.

  3. When is ODRAP Assistance Provided?

    ODRAP assistance is provided when damages are so extensive that they exceed the financial resources of the affected individuals, the municipality and community at large.

    ODRAP is not an alternative or a substitute for adequate private insurance coverage and sound risk management.  Damage claims should be directed first to insurance companies to determine coverage of individual policies.

  4. What if I cannot work, lost my job, or lost income because of a disaster? Can I receive assistance?

    ODRAP does not cover lost wages or income because of a disaster.

  5. What if my business experienced reduced sales or was unable to operate because of a disaster?

    ODRAP does not cover lost business revenue because of a disaster.  Assistance is available for small business enterprises whose essential property was damaged due to a disaster. 

  6. Where can I get forms for ODRAP?

    Forms can be requested from your local municipal or community office in the event of a disaster declaration in your area.

The Ministry of Transportation wishes to advise drivers that Highway 11/17 is fully OPEN. All Local Roads Board (LRB) areas have fully reopened.

For the latest information, the public can call 511, MTO’s Road Information Line to find out about current highway closures.

More details on this breaking news item as they unfold.

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