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Province trying to help flooded towns
Published Wednesday, June 6, 2018 5:58PM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, June 6, 2018 7:01PM CST
Residents in southeast Saskatchewan are cleaning up after the area was pounded with rain last week, and the government is trying to help.
The towns of Lampman and Alameda seemed to receive the worst of the storm, and residents and businesses are still assessing the situation.
The Saskatchewan government is stepping in by having Provincial Disaster Assistance Program flood recovery centres set to be open in both town offices this week.
The program helps principal residents; communities and small business owners cover damage or loss to uninsurable, essential property due to natural disasters. It is not a substitute for private insurance. The government says people should contact their insurance providers to determine if they're covered. Before providing assistance, the program has to confirm that the building is a primary residence and that no insurance was available for the damage.
"Now that town residents are able to return home to survey the damage caused by the flooding in their community, I would encourage anyone affected to immediately begin the claims process by contacting PDAP and visiting the recovery centre in their town,” Minister of Government Relations Warren Kaeding said in a news release.
The centres will provide immediate support and advice to residents in both towns and the surrounding areas. Residents will also be able to speak with a provincial building official about any structural safety and building concerns.
For people in Lampman, the centre will be open on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., while Alameda residents can visit the centre on Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
As for how much damage was caused, the province says it's too early to tell.
Lampman Administrator Greg Wallin says there's lots of yard damage and some houses experienced serious sewer backups, but the majority of the damage is to the roads.
"The streets being underwater for so long, we've got... tens upon tens of thousands of dollars damage to the streets… the cost of having pumps and trucks and whatever in for two days trying to keep the water down out of people’s houses. That's a phenomenal cost. We don't even know what it's going to be,” Wallin said.
Lampman was the only municipality to declare a state of emergency, and town employees spent the weekend in semi-trucks, pumping water out of the town. Trucks are still in the area trying to lower the level of water in some dugouts.
A community does not need to declare a state of emergency before applying for the program, but need to request to be designated as a disaster area, which is done through the program.
So far, Lampman and Alameda are the only towns eligible for program assistance, but the province says the program is in contact with a number of communities in the area and expects additional designation applications soon.