New Brunswick will hire an independent consultant to conduct a review of the response to the historic 2018 spring flood. The report will be made public once complete.
The province has said that communities, response agencies, municipalities, and residents will have an opportunity to provide input.
“It is important for all of us to understand how well New Brunswick responded to this event and how we can all be better prepared for future events,” said Public Safety Minister Carl Urquhart.
About 12,000 properties were affected by the flood. In response, the province launched a disaster financial assistance program in May. The program provides assistance for eligible damage and losses that threaten the health and safety of individuals, municipalities, and small businesses.
The maximum assistance for structural repairs to private residences is $160,000, while the maximum for small businesses and not-for-profit organizations is $500,000. Coverage is provided to repair and clean structures and to replace basic necessities.
“Our priority is on ensuring the remaining disaster financial assistance claims of people impacted by flooding are being handled,” said Urquhart. “It is also important that we work to improve our response and, through this review, I am confident that we will.”
As of November 23rd, the provincial government has received 1,105 applications for disaster financial assistance. Eighty-five per cent of the claims have been completed: 845 processed and paid and 84 were denied due to ineligibility. Thirty-two claims are under review, because the claimants gave the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization (NBEMO) additional claim information or asked for a review.
In 74 cases, NBEMO has made buyout offers, a record number. Most of these cases are still in progress, because they are complex real estate transactions, but are near the end of the process. For homeowners whose claims have not yet been completed, the organization will help them to secure alternative accommodations if needed pending finalization of their claims.
New Brunswick residents who suffered property damage during the spring flood have until December 14th to file for disaster financial assistance.
Anyone needing help or advice with the process may call 1-888-553-8558 for help or to make an appointment to speak with someone. Assistance is also available at the following satellite offices:
- Hampton, 410 William Bell Dr., Unit 1, 506-832-6030;
- Fredericton, Service New Brunswick building, 432 Queen St., 506-453-6514; and
- Burton, Burton Courthouse, 23 Route 102, 506-357-4622.