MPP Norm Miller put flooding in the Almaguin Highlands region in the spotlight during Question Period at Queens Park on Monday.
The Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP asked the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry John Yakabuski in the Legislature what was being done to help those impacted by flooding in Ontario.
“I have visited Bracebridge, Huntsville, and Katrine to see the damage and meet with local officials,” said Miller.
“Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith, Huntsville Mayor Scott Aitchison and Armour Township Reeve Bob MacPhail are showing great leadership and doing everything they possibly can to protect the safety and the property of local residents.” added the MPP.
On the weekend, CTV News reported on the plight of residents in the hamlet of Katrine in Amour Township as they dealt with flooding caused by rising levels of the Magnetawan Watershed.
In one account, one resident said it was the worst flooding he has seen since moving to the area in 1982.
While many municipalities in the Muskoka and Haliburton districts have declared States of Emergency, Amour Township, according to CTV News reporting, has not.
The Minister told Miller that the Provincial Emergency Operation Centre has been fully activated and is working with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the Ministry of the Municipal Affairs and Housing, and the Ministry of the Solicitor General.
Flooding and other natural disasters are managed locally by the municipality with support from the Provincial and Federal governments.
A media release issued Monday by the Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP says there are two provincial programs that provide support in natural disasters.
The Municipal Disaster Recovery Assistance program helps to rebuild municipal infrastructure.
The Disaster Recovery Assistance Ontario applies to a primary residence and its basic contents, or to a small business, farm or not-for-profit organization.
That program covers the cost of emergency expenses to repair or replace essential property following a natural disaster that is not covered by insurance.
As the water recedes, the Province will send a team to evaluate the damage and determine if the area will be eligible for MDRA and/or DRAO. The
Miller’s statement says the province has already been in touch with local municipalities to start to make arrangements for this evaluation.
“We all owe a great big thank you to the first responders and the volunteers who are helping to keep everyone safe and trying to protect property,” added Miller
“And I want to reiterate that everyone should stay clear of fast-moving water, respect road closures, and, for seasonal residents, please don’t come to check on your property until the flooding has subsided.”