The province is weighing the possibility of providing flood assistance to Norfolk homeowners and businesses.
On Nov. 19, Norfolk council asked the Ford government to provide funds to local residents who suffered damage to their primary residence during significant lakeshore wind events Oct. 27 and 31. If the province agrees, it would do so through Ontario’s Municipal Disaster Recovery Assistance Program.
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing took part in a tour of the worst-hit areas Nov. 27. Assisting ministry staff was an insurance adjuster. Also assisting were Norfolk firefighters.
“The assessment team observed flood-related damages in residential homes that were, in some cases, substantial,” Gord Stilwell, the county’s interim fire chief, says in a note to Norfolk council.
“The most significant damage that was observed in area businesses pertained to marinas along the shoreline. This damage was to piers at the mouth of the channel entrances, docks, break walls, and to their buildings.
“Some of the businesses were insured and receiving coverage and a few others are not going to be covered by their insurance companies.”
Norfolk County is among the affected marina operators. In mid-November, community services staff reported that the wave surge arising from the Halloween storm roughed up the docks and moorings at the Harbour Marina in Port Dover.
In a note to Norfolk council, Bill Cridland, Norfolk’s general manager of community services, said “extensive damage” was caused to “chains, docks, supports and anchors.”
Stillwell says the ministry assessment team attended about 15 properties during stops in Port Dover, Turkey Point and Long Point. The team made a point of dropping in on property owners who reported damage to the county. They also spoke to people who were cleaning up after October’s storms.
“The (ministry) assessors and their insurance adjuster were satisfied they collected enough information to submit to the minister’s office,” Stillwell says.
“In the event the program is activated it would open up funding opportunities for local business owners and residents to assist financially to repair damages that qualify under the scope of the program.
“The activation of the program is at the sole discretion of the respective minister in charge of the DRAO program, based on the information provided by the provincial assessors.”
The Province of Ontario website says DRAO may be invoked “if there’s a sudden, unexpected natural event such as a flood or tornado that causes costly and widespread damage in your area.”
Eligible applicants, the website adds, could be reimbursed for “clean-up expenses, costs to repair or replace essential property, and basic emergency expenses like evacuation travel costs.”