Ontario activates disaster recovery assistance program in response to August thunderstorms

"Our government is standing with residents who suffered losses"

Ontario activates disaster recovery assistance program in response to August thunderstorms

Catastrophe & Flood

By Mika Pangilinan

Ontario’s government has declared the activation of its Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians (DRAO) program in response to the extensive damage caused by severe thunderstorms that swept through the southwest portion of the province last August.

The DRAO program is applicable to primary residences and their basic contents, as well as small businesses, farms, or not-for-profit organizations, according to a news release issued on Tuesday.

Available in some regions of southwestern Ontario, it offers as.sistance for emergency expenses and the costs associated with repairing or replacing essential property not covered by insurance. Low-income households can also seek assistance for damage caused by sewer backup, which is typically ineligible under the program.

Paul Calandra, minister of municipal affairs and housing, expressed the government’s commitment to supporting affected residents.

“Our government is standing with residents who suffered losses due to the extraordinary flooding that happened in parts of southwestern Ontario last summer,” he said. “I want to thank the municipal staff, volunteers, and emergency responders who went above and beyond to support the people impacted by flooding in the impacted municipalities.”

The August thunderstorms that hit southwestern Ontario caused localized flooding, widespread power outages, washed-out roads, and flooded basements, with the most significant damage occurring in the Township of Warwick, the Municipality of Southwest Middlesex, the Town of Essex, the Municipality of Lakeshore, the Town of Kingsville, and the Town of Amherstburg.

Environment Canada reported that up to 180 millimetres of rain fell between Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie from August 23 to 25, with a maximum of 214 millimetres measured in Harrow in the Town of Essex. Additionally, Essex County saw the most significant rainfall, experiencing a one-in-100-year event.

The deluge led to over $110 million in insured losses, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

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