DAILY NEWS Nov 16, 2012 3:25 PM - 0 comments

Manitoba has spent over $1 billion in flood recovery efforts: government

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The Manitoba government has spent more than $1 billion and has made significant progress on flood recovery efforts following severe flooding beginning in 2011, the province said Friday.

The majority of residents displaced by flooding have returned home, all structural property damage has been appraised and more than 70% of assistance claims have been completed to date, the government noted in a statement.

At the peak of the flooding, 7,000 people were evacuated from their homes, according to the government, with First Nations communities hit especially hard. Evacuations are still in effect for 16 of those communities.

“With the success of the Lake St. Martin emergency channel bringing levels on Lake St. Martin and Lake Manitoba below flood stage late this summer, Manitobans made significant progress cleaning up and repairing flood damage,” infrastructure and transportation minister Steve Ashton said in a statement.

He noted that the recovery will be multi-year process.

Over the spring and summer, a team of appraisers conducted almost 2,500 structural damage appraisals with home appraisals been given priority, the field work is now complete and most structural damage payments are expected to be completed before year’s end, Ashton noted.

Three times as many assistance claims were filed after the 2011 flood than after major flooding in 1997, according to the province.

Provincial flood expenses so far include:

  • agriculture assistance:  $359 million;
  • assistance for homes and cottages under the Lake Manitoba Flood Assistance Program:  $48 million;
  • disaster financial assistance:  $289 million;
  • flood fighting, mitigation, restoration and flood proofing:  $240 million; and
  • emergency channel and other infrastructure works:  $89 million.

The total flood expenditure to date is $1.025 billion.

Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation has also determined that there were periods of artificial flooding downstream of the Shellmouth Dam during 2011 and 2012 after the peak of the flooding.  A compensation program will be developed in the coming months and affected producers will be contacted on the details, the province noted.

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