As district homeowners and businesses bail out basements from the two days of intense thunderstorms, many wonder just who’s going to pay for the flood damages.
“No one has flood coverage,” said Larry Cousineau of Cousineau Brokers Inc. here. “I don’t know anyone in Fort Frances who has flood coverage.”
Cousineau noted that for those home-owners who had an additional sewer backup endorsement in their insurance, and that the damage to their property was caused by sewage water backing up into their basements, than there was some coverage.
“But if there’s water seepage through a wall or a basement window because of rising water, that’s not covered,” he stressed.
Cousineau said it depended on the particular type of coverage they have, but businesses were in much the same position as homeowners and that there really wasn’t much people could do but start cleaning up.
No one has estimated how much damage the flooding has caused to homes and businesses throughout the district, but Cousineau said the price tag definitely would be big.
“In the entire district, it’s going to be in the millions,” he estimated.
By Tuesday afternoon, Cousineau’s already had processed about 100 sewer backup claims—with more still coming in.
In the meantime, Ontario NDP leader and local MPP Howard Hampton already has called on the province for help.
“As the magnitude of the damage caused by this torrential rain and windstorm comes to light, you should anticipate municipalities in the northwest to be seeking Ontario Disaster Relief Assistance,” he said in an open letter to the provincial government.
“I ask the Ministry of Municipal Affairs to prepare for requests for disaster relief, and to respond quickly to enable municipalities to rebuild after this unusual and severe storm,” he wrote.