A man drains his boots before getting back to the sandbagging at 14th Avenue in Okanagan Falls. Even those with high boots on were not safe from the water, which reached a couple of feet in depth in places. Dustin Godfrey/Western News

Victims of ‘devastating’ floods get provincial financial aid

Disaster Financial Assistance is now available for eligible British Columbians affected by flooding

The province has now made Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) available for eligible British Columbians affected by flooding, after Premier John Horgan called a once-in-a-century event.

“The flood damage I saw in Grand Forks is nothing short of devastating,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

“I want Grand Forks, and other B.C. communities hard-hit by flooding, to know that the Province is here to help now and for the long term. We are making this funding available to help residents, local governments and First Nations rebuild, so they can begin the process of healing.”

Related: Public safety minister visits Boundary flooding

DFA is now available in the geographic areas within the Regional Districts of Kootenay Boundary, Okanagan Similkameen, Central Okanagan, Columbia Shuswap and North Okanagan (including electoral areas, municipalities and First Nations communities).

DFA is available to eligible homeowners, residential tenants, small business owners, farmers, charitable organizations and local government bodies that were unable to obtain insurance to cover disaster-related losses.

Applications for this DFA authorization must be submitted to Emergency Management BC (EMBC) by Aug. 2, 2018. To access an application click here: http://www.gov.bc.ca/disasterfinancialassistance

Quick Facts about DFA:

  • Financial assistance is provided for each accepted claim at 80% of the amount of total eligible damage that exceeds $1,000, to a maximum claim of $300,000.
  • Claims may be made in more than one category (e.g., homeowner and farm owner).
  • A homeowner or residential tenant must show that the home is their principal residence.
  • Seasonal or recreational properties, hot tubs, patios, pools, garden tools, landscaping, luxury items (such as jewelry, fur coats and collectibles) and recreational items (such as bicycles) are not eligible for assistance.
  • Small business owners and farm owners must demonstrate that their farms and businesses are their primary source of income.
  • Charitable organizations must provide a benefit of service to the community at large.

Related: Need to know: How to help, where to donate, and what to do now

Assistance is also available to local governments for:

  • Emergency response measures authorized by EMBC according to response task number. These include incremental costs associated with their emergency operations centres. Financial assistance is provided for each accepted response claim at 100%. Completed response claim summaries and supporting documentation must be sent to the respective EMBC regional office.
  • Recovery measures to replace essential materials and rebuild or replace essential public infrastructures to the condition it was in before the disaster. Assistance is provided for each accepted recovery claim at 80% of the amount of total eligible damage that exceeds $1,000.

Related: Prepare now for Highway 3 to close when river rises

For information on flood-related evacuation alerts and orders, visit: www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca

Flood prevention tips can be found here.

The PreparedBC Flood Information for Homeowners and Home Buyers guide can be found here.

River Forecast Centre link.

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