Sioux Lookout, ON – As our community continues to contend with and begin the early stages of recovery from historic flooding, the Municipality’s administrative and political leaders have, on an ongoing and assertive manner,continued their efforts to have Sioux Lookout deemed a “flood area” by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH).
“In conversations with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing today, the Ministry advised that a decision onthe “flood area” designation will be coming in the very near future,” explained Municipal CAO, Michelle Larose. “It is our understanding that it was particularly challenging for the Ministry to assist, as the provincial government was in the midst of an election, which delayed the decision,” Larose added, noting, “no other communities received this designation either during the election period.”
The flood area designation is key to accessing the province’s disaster recovery funding, the Disaster RecoveryAssistance for Ontarians (DRAO) program. Although the designation is still pending, residents are now encouragedto consider the following information to prepare for the possibility of applying for the DRAO:
- Contact your insurance company – if you have insurance coverage for flooding, you can file a claim. Any damages not covered by your insurer MAY be eligible for funding under the DRAO program. All questions regarding eligibility under the DRAO program should be directed to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and If you do not have insurance coverage for flooding, you should still contact your insurance companyand request a “letter of denial” to demonstrate to the Province that your insurance will not cover any of the damages you suffered.
- Learn more about the DRAO program – please visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/apply- disaster-recovery-assistance
Larose adds, “We will continue to accept photos and descriptions of areas impacted by flooding, to further document the impact and to assist in our efforts to implement significant flood mitigation strategies for future flooding events.”
In addition to receiving specific information from property owners impacted by the flooding, the Municipality hassurveyed the extent of the flood area for future mapping and has taken photos. All of this information has also been provided to the MMAH and will be used by the Municipality for recovery and mitigation planning.
As the waters recede, there will be a lot of clean up to be done in the community. Clean up efforts will be done in phases, as the water recedes and exposes debris and damage. Plans are currently being developed to clean up debris on Municipal property, including beaches, walking paths, and streets.
More Help for Residents
“To further assist residents with clean-up efforts, the Municipality will be providing impacted residents with cards touse at the landfill to dispose of waste resulting from the flooding, and making arrangements for the collection of sandbags from those who required them to help mitigate flooding, once they are no longer needed to protect their properties,” explained Mayor Doug Lawrance. “Details on these supports will be communicated to the public in the coming days,” Lawrance concluded.
The Municipality is diligently documenting all Municipal costs associated with repairs and mitigation responses to the flood, in the event that we may become eligible for a different stream of provincial disaster recovery funding, which is targeted to municipalities that have incurred infrastructure damage. At this time, we continue to build on our estimates as to the costs to repair infrastructure affected by the flooding. The full extent of damages cannot be fully assessed until the flood waters have receded.
Property owners who have suffered damage to their principal residence or business may still contact the Municipalityto share their information at 737-2700 from 8:00-4:30, Monday to Friday. You may also email photos and details of your flood damages to firstname.lastname@example.org.