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The Ontario government has activated the Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians

Updated: Jan 9

Special to the RTT -

The Ontario government has activated the Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians (DRAO) program in certain areas of southwestern Ontario.

The program comes as a result of a series of thunderstorms which passed through southwestern Ontario Aug. 23, causing significant damage in Essex, Lakeshore, Kingsville, and Amherstburg. The storms led to localized flooding, power outages, washedout roads, and flooded basements.

According to Environment Canada, up to 180 millimeters of rain fell between Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie from Aug. 23-25, with a maximum of 214 millimeters measured in Harrow in the Town of Essex. Essex County received the most rainfall, which was a one-in-100-year event.

“The government of Ontario is stepping up to help residents in Essex County who were affected by extraordinary weather events,” said Essex MPP Anthony Leardi. “I want to thank all those emergency responders who were there when people needed them.”

The disaster assistance program applies to a primary residence and its basic contents, or to a small business, farm or not-for-profit organization.

It provides assistance for emergency expenses and the costs to repair or replace essential property following a natural disaster not covered by insurance.

Low-income households can apply for assistance for damage caused by sewer backup, which is not otherwise eligible under the program.

To find out if they may be eligible for assistance if they are in the activation area, and for next steps, individuals, small businesses, farms and not-forprofit organizations should review the maps and program guidelines, or call 1-877-822-0116 or e-mail after speaking with their private insurance provider. Residents with no insurance coverage or whose insurance coverage is insufficient to cover essential costs have until March 27, 2024, to apply for assistance through the program.

In a statement released Monday afternoon, the Town of Amherstburg says it is pleased with the announcements.

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