The province is activating the Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians (DRAO) program in response to the “sudden and heavy rainfall” on August 4 that led to flooding across neighbourhoods in central Sarnia.
“Local officials reported that over 70 millimetres of rain fell within a two-hour period in the city’s centre and that over 400 calls were received from residents related to the storm,” noted a news release from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “According to the municipality’s modelling, this was a one in 100-year event for the area.”
The disaster assistance program applies to a primary residence and its essential contents, or to a small business, farm or not-for-profit organization, the province said.
It provides assistance for emergency expenses and the costs to repair or replace essential property following a natural disaster not covered by insurance.
Low-income households can apply for assistance for damage caused by sewer backup, which is not otherwise eligible under the program.
“I want to thank the municipal staff, volunteers, and emergency responders who went above and beyond to support the people of Sarnia,” said Steve Clark, minister of municipal affairs and housing.
“Our government stands with the families and businesses who have been impacted by this historic flood. I encourage those impacted by the flood to contact their insurance company before applying for assistance through the program.”
To find out if they may be eligible for assistance, if they are in the activation area and for next steps, individuals, small businesses, farms and not-for-profit organizations should review the map of the activation area and program guidelines available at ontario.ca/DisasterAssistance, or call 1-877-822-0116 or email [email protected] after speaking with their private insurance provider.
Residents with no insurance coverage or whose insurance coverage is insufficient to cover essential costs have until April 21, 2023, to apply for assistance through the program.