The City of Flin Flon is looking into whether or not homeowners whose basements or belongings were wrecked in last month’s heavy rainfall can qualify for provincial disaster relief funding.
The City has started an online campaign to get people whose homes were damaged in June 6’s torrential rain to register their losses, in hopes of receiving further assistance through disaster insurance.
“The City of Flin Flon is gathering information regarding the extent of the impact from the rain event that took place June 6. This request is being made in collaboration with the provincial authorities, who are seeking to understand the magnitude of the event on our community,” reads the announcement.
“It will also be beneficial for our records to better serve you in the future.”
At the June 20 meeting of Flin Flon city council, councillors discussed the storm and its aftermath, both on City infrastructure and for residents’ homes. Dozens of basements in different parts of the community were flooded due to the rain. Culverts were damaged at both Channing and Ross Lake, power was shut off and, for a time, a pump failed at the City’s main water heating plant, causing a chain reaction of events that led to a boil water advisory being called for the uptown area for three days following the rain.
Councillor Bill Hanson, who is the chair of council’s engineering services committee, thanked City workers and gave a quick rundown of damage done to City infrastructure.
“Thank god for the workforce we have. Everybody was very committed that night - it was very serious. We had a lot of basements flooded. We lost a few culverts - you may have seen one floating in Ross Lake. We had one in Channing where the force of the water was so great, it actually floated out of the hole,” said Hanson.
“I’m not sure yet what the extent of the damage to our infrastructure is, but I think it’s substantial.”
City chief administrative officer Lyn Brown said that the City would pursue looking at whether the rain could be considered a “disaster event”, which would mean differences for insurance coverage. In the case of a “disaster event”, the provincial government can declare it eligible for disaster financial assistance, which can cover losses from homes, businesses, farms, non-profit groups and others.
“We’re still trying to get numbers together and we’ll be talking with our insurance. We did also connect with Emergency Manitoba to see if we can get the flood determined as a disaster - that would give us a chance to get some funding for uninsurable things that may have happened,” Smith said.
“We’re hoping to hear back about that.”
Assistance can be provided if three main criteria are met - if damage is widespread and affects a large number of people, if the damage presents a large financial burden and if losses from the event are mainly not already covered by insurance. The coverage would mainly cover people who lost belongings or property that was not insured.
“There’s a number of families in town who had a significant amount of damage that do not have insurance because it was classified as a flood,” Hanson said.
“I’ve lived here my whole life - I don’t remember it being like this… in my lifetime here, that’s the largest rainfall that I can recall.”
Anyone with accounts of the storm can share them with the City either by dropping off written or printed accounts to City Hall or by sending them to email@example.com.