Warwick residents can apply for disaster assistance

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Highway 402 between Nauvoo Road and Kerwood Road Aug. 23.

Watford residents who are still dealing with the effects of a once in a century storm may get some help from the provincial government.

Warwick Township heard Tuesday residents can now apply for the Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians fund to help pay some of their cleanup costs.

The municipality applied for DRAO after declaring a state of emergency in August on the heels of an extreme rainfall that caused significant flooding throughout the municipality. Environment Canada reported that nearly 180mm of rain fell between Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie during that event.

Highway 402 was closed for a number of hours as rain covered the highway causing some accidents.
Campers at conservation areas in Warwick and Alvinston were left stranded when the deluge washed out lanes to the main roads. In Dawn-Euphemia, trailers were pulled from the Shetland Conservation Area as the Sydenham River rose.

All over Watford, signs of the storm could be seen as disaster restoration companies worked to help homeowners deal with water and sewage in their basements. For some, it took weeks for the work to be completed.

At the time, Mayor Todd Case said the state of emergency was called even though there was not a threat to public safety the “financial loss is going to be huge,” Mayor Case said.

“By declaring an emergency, we can raise public awareness and provide flexibility to call on partners to assist in the response if necessary.

Just days after the incident, council apply to the province hoping residents would be able to access the fund for victims.

The DRAO program helps with emergency expenses and the cost to repair or replace essential property not covered by insurance following a natural disaster.

The program is not a substitute for homeowners insurance but the provincial government says it can help homeowners with the cost of items such as clean up expenses costs to repair or replace essential property, basic emergency expenses like evacuation travel costs.

Homeowners, tenants, small business owners, small farm operations and non profit organizations can apply under the program. It may cover up to 90 per cent of your eligible costs for emergency expenses, appliances and furnishings up to $250,000.

Homeowners with more than $275,000 in insurance coverage are not likely to be eligible under the program.

The application deadline is March 27, 2024. Warwick plans some public information sessions to explain the program.

Residents in several other hard hit municipalities can apply for the program including Kingsville, Lakeshore and Southwest Middlesex.

You can find more information here;

https://www.ontario.ca/page/apply-disaster-recovery-assistance#section-2