Federal government to send more troops to Atlantic Canada

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Defense Minister Anita Anand says there are now 700 military personnel in Atlantic Canada helping clean up after post-tropical storm Fiona left much of the region in tatters.

Anand said Thursday that members of the Canadian Armed Forces in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and southwestern Newfoundland were helping clear debris, reopen roads, check residents and to assess the damage.

The minister said additional troops are on standby, along with ships and planes.

Federal Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray said 180 of the region’s 706 small craft harbors were in the storm’s path, adding that work was underway to determine the extent of the damage.

Murray says the department knows of at least 99 ports that are partially operational and five that are so damaged they are no longer functional.

In addition, work is underway in many ports to remove dozens of sunken or stranded ships.

“It’s going to be a very expensive undertaking,” Newfoundland MLA Gudie Hutchings said at a briefing of ministers on Thursday. “And we must build back safer, stronger and better for our fishers, for our farmers, for our communities and, most importantly, for our residents.”

Hutchings represents the region that includes Port aux Basques, Newfoundland, where Fiona destroyed more than 70 homes, some of which were swept out to sea by record-breaking storm surge Saturday morning. The storm claimed the life of a 73-year-old woman, who was swept away by the sea when a wave flooded her house and destroyed her basement.

In Nova Scotia, the provincial government has launched a new website where residents can apply for financial assistance.

Under a new program, any household that has lost power for at least 48 hours can apply to receive $100 to help cover the cost of spoiled food. Additionally, up to $250 is available for those who must pay for tree removal, and $1,000 per household is available for people who have been evicted from their homes or cannot return to their homes.

On Monday, Nova Scotia began accepting applications for a disaster financial assistance program, which covers up to $200,000 in uninsurable losses per household, small business and nonprofit organization. lucrative.

New Brunswick also unveiled a similar disaster financial assistance program. “We expect the total damage from Hurricane Fiona to exceed the $35 million disbursed for Hurricane Dorian in 2019,” Public Safety Minister Bill Hogan said in a statement released late Wednesday.

As of Wednesday, the New Brunswick government had received 164 damage reports, most from an area stretching from the Nova Scotia border, along the Northumberland Strait to the Acadian Peninsula. Up to $200,000 is available for households applying to cover the cost of structural repairs not covered by insurance.

“If affordable (insurance) coverage was available and was not purchased, an application for disaster financial assistance cannot be approved,” the New Brunswick government said in a statement.

Residents can also file claims to cover the costs of basic necessities, such as appliances that cannot be removed from flood hazard, labor to remove damaged materials from basements, general repairs and the removal of trees that pose a threat to safety.


This report from The Canadian Press was first published on September 29, 2022.

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