By: Luke Jones, Published on May 25, 2018 09:40 AM, Last Update on May 25, 2018 06:45 AM
New Brunswick’s recent flooding was known to be record-breaking, but now the province’s environment minister has put a figure on the damage, providing a sense of the scale of the devastation.
Andrew Harvey said last week as many as 10,000 residential and commercial properties lay within the area of the floods, although stopped short of offering a precise figure. Instead, Harvey said the citizens are still in the claims process to a true view of the scale will come later.
“There have been close to 10,000 for residential or commercial properties that could be affected,” he said during a news conference.
“Some of these numbers are moving as we get new information as to how many actual applications we have for disaster financial assistance.”
The province is taking its early data from Service New Brunswick’s property identification system, using numbers from buildings within the flood zones. So far, 2,200 residents have registered for the disaster relief program, which helps residents with cover for uninsurable damages.
Aside from private properties, the province announced 2,000 recreational buildings and infrastructure were damaged by the floods. Recent heavy rains were exasperated by significant snowmelt, causing record floods that damaged properties and lifted some residential cottages off their foundations.
The situation again raises questions about where development is located, and Harvey concedes a conversation needs to be had.
“As time goes on those are decisions that are going to have to be made about zoning and about where people are building,” he said.
“These are some tough decisions that will have to be made … and we as a government at some point in the future will have to look at the issue about zoning.”