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Disaster funding available for March flood damage

If you experienced flooding in your home in early March and insurance is not covering the damage costs, there is now a way to receive part of the cleanup costs from the government.

Residents of Cranbrook, Kimberley, ?aq'am (St. Mary's Band), Canal Flats, Fernie and the Regional District surrounding those communities are now eligible for Disaster Financial Assistance for the overland flooding of March.

The provincial government approved Disaster Financial Assistance for residents of these areas last week after the Regional District of East Kootenay filed an application.

Full-time residents and home owners, residential tenants, small business owners, farmers, charitable organizations and local government bodies, can fill out claim forms and submit them for a portion of the cleanup costs related to the flooding that are not covered by insurance.

Starting on March 6, parts of Cranbrook, Wasa, Fort Steele, Meadowbrook and Wardner experienced flooding after heavy snow gave way to warm temperatures and rain. Many homes in Cranbrook experienced flooding in the basement.

The Disaster Financial Assistance program is provincial and is available to full-time residents. To apply for funding:

• Get a letter of claim denial from your insurance company.

• Download the DFA Program Guidelines and Application Form (the link is below). Copies are also available at the RDEK office in Cranbrook.

• Document everything you possibly can related to your flooding. If you took photos, provide as many as you can. If you did not take photos during the flooding, but still can see evidence of the damage (for instance, high water marks on the drywall), take photos now.

• Keep receipts for any and all clean-up costs related to the flooding and resulting damage and repairs. If you did not keep receipts, see if you can go back and get copies. You will need receipts to be reimbursed.

• If your septic field was compromised by flooding, you will need to have it inspected by a qualified sewage practitioner. There is a cost for this service. Keep receipts as this may be a claimable expense through DFA.

• Submit your application to EMBC. Once they have received your application, they will contact you and make arrangements for an on-site visit with one of their evaluators. This is a Provincial program and you will work directly with them.

The deadline date to file an application is July 2, 2014.

When filling out the forms, it asks for the date of damage. Make sure you indicate a date between March 4-11, 2014 as this is the timeframe Disaster Financial Assistance has been approved for. If you don't put these dates down, your claim will be refused.

For more information and to download an application form, visit http://embc.gov.bc.ca/em/dfa_claims/dfa.html or phone 1-888-257-4777.

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