FREDERICTON (GNB) – New Brunswick homeowners are getting extra assistance to clean up after historic flooding.

Homeowners are now eligible to receive up to $6,100 to remove flood debris from their property, an increase from $4,050 that was previously available.

The provincial government is also waiving the deductible on debris cleanup claims for homeowners and recreational property owners. This represents a savings of $1,000. Other claims under the Disaster Financial Assistance Program unrelated to debris clean up, for activities like structure restoration, will still be subject to a deductible.

“This year’s flooding was devastating and many people need help to get their homes and properties back to normal,” said Department of Environment and Local Government Minister Andrew Harvey. “Increasing financial assistance to homeowners and eliminating deductibles on debris clean up are good ways to start. This is also an environmental and safety issue. We hope homeowners will take advantage of this opportunity to dispose of flood-damaged items properly and as quickly as possible.”

The $6,100 figure is based on an estimate of about 540 hours of labour at minimum wage, or the equivalent of costs for a contractor to remove the debris. The previous amount of about $4,050 was based on 360 hours at minimum wage.

To be reimbursed, residents must register first by calling 1-888-298-8555 or by registering online. The Service New Brunswick TeleServices line is available to receive calls between 8 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The damage assessments will be reviewed, and health and safety inspection teams will be dispatched to individual properties. There is no charge for health and safety inspections.

All property owners are reminded to keep all their receipts and to document the damage with photos.

Individuals who have already registered and require assistance filling out their claim may call 1-888-298-8555.

Canadian Red Cross

Since the Canadian Red Cross launched its fundraising campaign on May 3, more than $650,000 has been donated to help New Brunswickers.

Since flooding began in April, the Red Cross has helped evacuees and those in need by providing shelter, meals and cleaning kits. It now is also providing direct financial assistance to eligible New Brunswickers impacted by the flood, providing $300 per household for basic needs, to be determined by each homeowner.

Assistance will be offered to eligible homeowners or tenants whose primary residence was in a flood-impacted area, as confirmed by the government, and as a result of flooding were:

  • evacuated from their primary home for more than two days; or
  • were without power for more than three days; or
  • had water damage and/or sewer backup; and
  • who self-identify to the Red Cross that they face financial difficulty to replace contaminated or spoiled food, or to purchase additional cleaning supplies.

Disaster Financial Assistance satellite offices

The province has hired additional staff and has opened satellite offices in several locations to process Disaster Financial Assistance more quickly.

Office locations include:

  • Saint John – 15 King’s Square North, phone 506-658-5390, fax 506-658-5387.
  • Hampton – 410 William Bell Dr., Unit 1, phone 506-832-6030, fax 506-832-6008.
  • Fredericton – Service New Brunswick building, 432 Queen St., phone 506-453-6514.
  • Burton – Burton Courthouse, 23 Rte. 102, phone 506-357-4622.

These locations will be open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon (Saint John, Fredericton, Burton).

Fees waived for building permits and Watercourse and Wetland Alteration permits

Fees for permits will be waived for residents of local service districts who require a development and building permit, and for all residents who may require a Watercourse and Wetland Alteration permit for restoration of properties affected by the flood.

Development and building permits are required for building, locating, relocating, demolishing, altering or replacing a building or structure in an unincorporated area. The permit will trigger an inspection to ensure that the structure is built to the National Building Code.

Development and building permit application forms are available at the Regional Service Commission for the area where the construction takes place.

Residents of municipalities should refer to the building permit requirements of their respective local governments.

Tipping fees waived for flood-damaged items

People wishing to independently dispose of non-hazardous items may take them to the following locations at no charge: Crane Mountain landfill, Fredericton Region Solid Waste and the Regional Service Commission 8 transfer station. Regular household hazardous waste generated by the flood can also be taken at these facilities. People should inform staff at the gate that they are disposing of flood-damaged items.

Free well-testing kits

The provincial government is providing free bacterial testing of water for the owners of private wells who have been directly affected by recent flooding.

Water sampling kits can be picked up at designated Service New Brunswick centres. Water samples will be sent to the Research and Productivity Council laboratory for testing and results will be made available to the owners of the private wells.

Since flooding has been occurring at various locations and at different times, owners of private wells are reminded they must wait 10 days after the flood water has receded from the well area before beginning the chlorination and sampling process. For further information, consult the department’s document on Well Chlorination and Water Testing.

Flood debris disposal and pickups

Residents of local service districts are advised of the following special pickups for debris and waste related to the recent flooding.

Waste contractors will do special collections in the following areas: Maugerville, Waterborough, Canning, Chipman, Minto, Sheffield, Jemseg, Lincoln and Rusagonis.

Residents are advised that flood-related waste will be collected as soon as possible but that this may take some time. Crews will follow a collection route and will only stop at each house once during the cleanup so residents are asked to have their items sorted and ready by May 21.

Flood waste includes appliances (remove doors and covers for safety), furniture, carpeting, insulation, paper products, construction debris, etc.