Flooding disaster relief coming up short for property owner

Some of the destruction on Hooton’s property in what was once a wooded area. Photo SPIN.

In May, Clark Hooton awoke in the night to a large landslide heading towards his house. While it missed his family’s home and no one was injured, the property, including the driveway, was heavily damaged.

Repairs have been estimated at $30,000 to $40,000, however after submitting his application and having the damage evaluated twice, the Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) has stated he will only receive $3,960.75.

The DFA was made available to those impacted by flooding for structural repair, cleanup and disinfection, and essential access. It’s set up to cover 80 per cent of the repair and the remainder is paid by the claimant.

Hooton said that amount he is set to receive won’t come close to covering the amount of work needed to be completed

“That won’t even cover (highway) flagging for a couple of days,” he said.

He is in the process of gathering estimates so he can submit an official appeal. Quotes on the required work must be submitted by Sept. 11.

A Hydro pole on Hooton’s property snapped and power lines tumbled down. Photo SPIN

The driveway was covered in mud and debris and a wooden structure over a small culvert was blown away, which will need to be replaced by a bridge. Debris piled up to 12 feet high will also have to be removed from both sides of the road.

Additional work is needed to protect his property during the next spring runoff and large amounts of downed timber must be removed as it’s a fire hazard

While those costs are not eligible, the damage to the driveway is claimable with DFA.
As summer turns to fall, Hooton is arranging machinery to start removing timber while working on the appeal process.

“We’ve been relying on our neighbours (for access to our home),” he said. “I’m worried about next spring. If we don’t fix it now it will come down again and take the culvert out again. I can imagine what the flow will be like in the spring.”