New Brunswick cottagers to get flood relief from provincial program

NB flooding Photo courtesy of The Canadian Press/Andrew Vaughan

New Brunswick has committed to offering a special disaster relief program to cottagers who may have been affected by recent flooding in the province.

Those owning vacation properties in the region will be able to apply for up to $6,100 to put towards labour and contract cleanup costs. Cottagers who have leased their recreation property, or whose camp was washed away completely in the storm, are also eligible.

“We can’t leave properties affected with contaminants or garbage, furniture [and] appliances that washed up on people’s properties. We need to have this program so that people can clean up their own properties,” Environment and Local Government Minister Andrew Harvey said in a statement.

“Providing assistance to recreational property owners will ensure potential health and safety risks are removed and the natural environment in these communities is restored.”

The one-time payments will be offered after property owners submit an online request or call for an adjuster from the Department of Justice and Public Safety to come and assess the damage.

According to the Globe and Mail, home owners will also be required to get a permit to build, reconstruct, or expand on a cottage if they are within 30 metres of a waterway. To qualify, they’ll have to provide the province with a plan of how they will reduce the impact of future floods.

Some of the most heavily damaged properties were cottages lining the St. John River and Grand Lake. The later area was particularly hard-hit, with entire homes being swept away by the rising waters. According to the Globe and Mail, potentially 2,000 recreational properties could have been affected in the province.

New Brunswick has also provided assistance to homeowners and small-business owners, with up to 90 percent of damages being eligible for coverage. Currently, there’s no solid estimate for the total cost of the flooding, but many are concerned it will exceed the tens-of-millions of dollars spent after spring flooding in 2008.

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