DFA may not be there for some

With the recent flooding disaster in Grand Forks many are getting what they think is the worst possible news: Their Insurance won’t cover them for flood.

It could get worse for them because they might not qualify for Disaster Financial Assistance either.

As explained in this CBC article it turns out that if you were offered Flood Insurance and you declined then you do not qualify for DFA. In the article the spokesperson for the industry says the cost amounts to about a cup of coffee a day. We will look into that but from the small canvas of business owners that actually have that insurance it’s clear that the deductibles are far more costly than a cup of coffee a day. They are all in the 5 figures ranging from $25,000 on up

This is from an insurance change in the ‘recent past’. At one point no overland Flood Insurance was offered in Canada so almost everyone was DFA qualified. But a few years ago the industry began offering it and that pushed people into a bind.

We will be looking into this further to determine the particulars of this. Specifically are Insurance Brokers obligated to tell you that if you turn down the Flood Insurance they offer and you do suffer a flood, such as we have, you will not get DFA and likely lose everything?

Did the Insurance Industry look upon this as a profit centre knowing that their insurance and deductible would be extremely expensive but pretty much mandatory for people like us in Grand Forks where a large part of the town is in a flood plain?

Stay tuned as we find out more.

If you would like to know about how this kind of problem has evolved south of is in the USA please watch the PBS Frontline documentary The Business of Disaster. It may be about the USA but it’s an eye opening education on floods, insurance and governments.

City Council Meeting May 22, 2018

May 22 was the first official City Council meeting since the Flood began.

Some people were upset with council (to put it mildly). Many want some leadership which they feel has been lacking. Others wanted to know what’s the Plan for such things as

  • evacuees who come to the end of their stays in hotels and motels
  • businesses devastated  by the flood and/or evacuated from their premises
  • the huge amount of contaminated material left behind inside and around people’s homes

And they weren’t all that happy with what they got in reply.

The agenda can be found at the link the button on the right points at. But there were a number of Late Items added to it related to the Flood (which they tried to include in an Addendum to the agenda). Specifically as relates to giving some leeway on charges and fees to properties and customers directly impacted by the flood.

The meeting

The meeting was streamed live to the web. But there were technical issues at the start so the live stream didn’t being until about 12 minutes into the actual meeting. The live stream went to Facebook where over 80 people watched as it happened and thousands later on. And during and later they commented . . . and it’s a bit of an eye opener. You can see all that in the facebook post (if you’re on Facebook). Or you can watch that below – be warned that the first few minutes are a bit glitchy.

ADOPT AGENDA MINUTES Proposed Community Center Study Update Council Reports Notice of Motion to Reconsider RDKB Representatives RDKB Report 2017 Statement of Financial Information (SOFI) INFO ITEMS Utility Charges for Flooded Properties Authorizing Staff to Issue Utility Credits To Affected Commercial Customers in Evacuation Zones Authorise Staff to Use Their Discretion to Waive Certain Administrative Fees Until June 30 Late Item - Discussion on the Flood QUESTION PERIOD

GFI 2018 Will Not Happen

The GFI issued a statement Wednesday to announce this year’s GFI tournament is cancelled. That statement follows.
After much thoughtful consideration and discussion with stakeholders, the Grand Forks International Committee is saddened to make the difficult decision to Cancel this year’s Grand Forks International Baseball Tournament scheduled for June 26-July 2, 2018.
The impact of recent flooding has rendered business and accommodations damaged or destroyed, has depleted the necessary volunteer base required to operate the tournament, and has generally devastated the community to a point where it is impossible to move forward with this event for 2018. There is too much uncertainty in the coming few months to make commitments to travelling teams or to allow us to entertain holding any kind of successful event due to these logistical challenges facing us as a whole.
We are thankful to the City of Grand Forks and Provincial departments, the RCMP, the Canadian Armed Forces and especially all the volunteers of this great community that are working around the clock to help the City rebuild.
The City will rebound and be stronger than ever, and so will the GFI. The 37th tournament will return June 25-July 1, 2019 and we look forward to bringing you this wonderful event at that time.
Stay Strong Grand Forks!

Yours in Baseball,
Steve Boutang – Tournament Co-ordinator

For more information please contact Tournament Co-Ordinator Steve Boutang at sboutang@shaw.ca or 250-919-4754, or Janice Strukoff – Director, Grand Forks International Society 2001 at gfi.ticketsandinfo@gmail.com or 250.442.6648.