‘Ottawa’ Disaster Relief Funding Activated as River Keeps Falling
Disaster funding activated
The provincial government has activated a program that will help cover uninsured costs for people and businesses affected by the massive Ottawa River flood.
Access to the program, called Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians, for the ongoing flood was signed off on by Municipal Affairs Minister Bill Mauro on Friday.
It means homeowners, tenants, small businesses, farmers, and not-for-profit organizations who have had flood damage or emergency expenses not covered by insurance can make a claim to the provincial government to get financial assistance.
The program guidelines and the application form for making a claim will be online at ontario.ca/DisasterAssistance. Information is also available by calling toll-free at 1-844-780-8925.
River keeps falling
By Friday afternoon, the Ottawa River in downtown Gatineau was down 64 centimetres, or a little more than 24 inches, from its peak and was still falling at a rate of 18 cm a day.
It was down 27 cm on Lac Deschênes, which rises and falls more slowly because of its width. At Thurso it was down 56 cm.
Still, the Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board sounded this warning: “Even under favourable weather conditions, levels are not expected to return to their normal range until the end of June.”
Weekend showers to have only ‘minor impact’
The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority said Friday that it expected the weekend showers would have only “minor impact” on the flood situation.
Environment Canada has called for showers through the weekend but no sustained periods of rain.
To have an impact, the 20 millimetres or so of rain forecast for the weekend “would need to be from a widespread system with heavy rain at times. Indications are that the rain will come as showers spread over two days.”
The agency said it expected residents in the areas it monitors to see “a continuing decline in levels through the weekend.”
“Even if we do get 20 millimetres or so over a couple of days, there has been enough drying that there will be a little bit of capacity in the ground to infiltrate. We have gained some room in the streams now,” said Patrick Larson of the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority.
No more free rides in Gatineau
Friday was the last day of free bus service on the STO. The city offered free rides earlier in the week in an effort to reduce traffic and encourage public transit when the flooding was at its peak.
Seven day garbage collection in flood zones
The City of Ottawa’s Solid Waste Services is now collecting garbage from flood-affected areas on a daily basis.
In addition to regular waste, residents can place large appliances, such as stoves, fridges, freezers and air conditioners, as well as electronics like televisions, computers, radios and other things with cords at the curb.
Any food should be removed from refrigerators and freezers, and the doors should be removed or secured shut. The City will arrange for the safe removal of refrigerants.
However, the city is asking that household hazardous waste not be included with garbage. More details will be coming on the collection of those materials.
With files from Brian Platt