PERTH-ANDOVER (GNB) – The provincial government will work with federal agencies, NB Power and the Village of Perth-Andover to examine long-term flood-proofing options for the area. This follows a March 23 ice-jam flood that damaged more than 200 properties in Perth-Andover and Tobique First Nation.

“To this point, we have been focused on getting the community back on its feet as quickly as possible,” said Environment and Local Government Minister Bruce Fitch. “But we recognize that people in the community are asking larger questions about the future. That is why we have directed a working group to seek answers in a number of key areas, and to report back on Aug. 30.”

The working group, comprised of representatives from the Departments of Environment and Local Government, Public Safety, the Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat, Tobique First Nation and from the Village of Perth-Andover, will consult with provincial and federal departments, NB Power and any other relevant agencies on anticipated flood risks and options for mitigation.

The specific areas of investigation are:

●    the known and anticipated risks of ice-jam flooding for the Perth-Andover area;
●    the extent to which the St. John River itself is a factor contributing to ice-jam flooding, and possible measures that could reduce the risk of ice jams;
●    possible measures for managing ice and river flows that could reduce the risk of ice jams; and
●    possible structural and non-structural measures that could reduce the risk of floods to individual properties and to the community.

Property owners who suffered damage in the March 23 flood are encouraged to apply for Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA), which provides health and safety inspections and financial assistance for essential items damaged by floodwaters and repairs.

“We sympathize with residents who were affected by this flood, and I assure them that adjusters are working as quickly as they can to assess their damages,” said Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General Robert Trevors. “We have assigned staff to help move the process along, and we continue to appreciate everyone's patience throughout the recovery process.”

Since launching the DFA program on March 26, the provincial government has received 246 applications and issued 86 advance payments. Adjusters have visited the majority of affected properties to assess damages.

Under the program, owners of residential property and small businesses are eligible for assistance for both structural repairs and content losses under the specified assistance limits. Tenants of residential properties may also be eligible for assistance to cover losses. Properties deemed to be beyond economical repair may be eligible for a buyout.

Owners of damaged properties should call Service New Brunswick at 1-888-298-8555 to register for provincial government services if they have not already done so. Once their information is recorded, they will receive an information kit describing how to apply for assistance along with advice on post-flood cleanup.

The deadline to apply for assistance is Tuesday, May 15.

LINKS:

●    Service New Brunswick (forms): www.snb.ca/emo
●    Department of Public Safety: www.gnb.ca/publicsafety