Monthly Archives: May 2018

Boundary Flood Resilience Centre to open May 26

News Release
Grand Forks, BC
May 24, 2018
5:45 PM PT

Boundary Flood Resilience Centre to open May 26

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary is launching its Boundary Flood Resilience Centre to help all victims of the 2018 catastrophic floods in the Boundary region.

The Resilience Centre will open at the Grand Forks Curling Rink on Saturday, May 26th at 9:00a.m. The Red Cross and EOC will mark the opening with a community pancake breakfast at the Curling Rink starting at 8:00 a.m.

“We are just now beginning the recovery process in our communities across the Boundary region. The RDKB is developing a recovery plan that will address flood recovery holistically, including built infrastructure as well as the more complex environmental, social and economic impacts of this disaster,” said Roly Russell, RDKB board chair.

The RDKB has assembled more than twenty different agencies under one roof to answer flood victims’ questions and provide assistance on a range of important topics including Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA), psycho-social support services, possession recovery, water testing, flood clean-up, waste disposal, home insurance and electrical safety.

The centre is intended to be a focal point for the community where impacted residents can connect with all those services and agencies they need to help them in the complex recovery process over the coming months and year.

“We are a strong community and we are a resilient community. We will come together and recover,” said Grand Forks Mayor Frank Konrad.

Representatives from the Red Cross will continue to support people in the community as they have in the Reception Centre they staffed for the duration of the flood emergency. Provincial representatives from DFA will be available to help residents fill out applications for assistance and other community representatives will be on site to direct flood victims to sources of additional funding . Water sampling kits for those on private water systems are also stocked on site.

“In many ways, fixing the buildings is the easy part of this recovery process. It will take a lot of work and the support of community and mental health resources to address the impacts we can’t see – the emotional, social and psychological well-being of all of us,” said Russel

The contact for the Emergency Operations Centre is 1-888-747-9119.

For more information:

Frances Maika,
EOC Public Information Officer, RDKB
250-231-3172 (cell)



Province Will Cover Tipping Fees For Flood Damaged Materials

From Director Russell’s Facebook post

YAY! After a ridiculous number of phone calls and conversations, we did it! Thanks, Mike Farnworth, John Horgan, EMBC, and all the very hard work of our team at the EOC, City and RDKB staff folks both. Phew. See the RDKB press release for more details. Here are the details from their release:

Given the extraordinary circumstances and wide-spread flooding damages to individuals, families and small businesses as a result of the recent flooding in Grand Forks, the Province will cover tipping fees related to disposal of flood damaged materials.

Background details:

· The Province and Regional District of Kootenay Boundary have agreed to an “aggregate billing process” to streamline the entire transaction process and not place an onerous up-front cash burden on individuals, families and small businesses.

· People can bring their flood debris to a local waste management facility. Facility staff will verify that the waste is flood impacted debris and confirm origin of waste, as well as document the weight and volume. Facilities will compile the transactions and send an invoice for the total amount to the Province for reimbursement.

· It’s important to note, that the fees are not being waived. Applicable fees will be consolidated by the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary and then submitted to the province for reimbursement.

· We remain committed to supporting and working with the Regional District and the community and people of Grand Forks throughout the recovery process.

Those residents impacted by Boundary flood won’t pay tipping fees. @EmergencyInfoBC #BCFlood #RDKB #2018Freshet #community

— RDKB Emergency Info (@RDKB_Emergency) May 26, 2018

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.