Brantford lifts flooding state of emergency

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The City of Brantford lifted its state of emergency on Monday, five days after huge ice jams caused the Grand River to swell, flood the banks of the watershed and in several places breach retaining walls meant to protect homes and businesses.

At its emergency centre operations (EOC) meeting on Monday, city officials lifted the  declaration made last Wednesday, Feb. 21 in response to an impending flood threat to the City. The declaration to lift the state of emergency was signed by Mayor Chris Friel at 1:50 p.m.

“As the city shifts into full recovery mode, our focus today and in the coming days and weeks ahead is to ensure the health and safety of our residents who have been impacted by last week’s flood event by providing information regarding assistance and supports,” Friel said. “We are grateful to the Honourable Bill Mauro, Minister of Municipal Affairs, for joining me and city officials on a tour of the impacted area early this morning and for reiterating the province’s commitment to assisting those in our community hardest hit by this event.”

Also on Monday, the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) said all flood warnings and watches issued between Feb. 16 and 23 are now terminated. River levels are holding steady at 2.47 metres over Saturday and Sunday. At its height, the river level reached nearly 7 metres.

All vehicular bridges are open while the following road closures remain in effect.

  • Gilkison Street (Elliot to Catherine), where crews are removing tons of ice covering the road
  • Birkett Lane (River Road to Mohawk Road)
  • The trail system in the affected area will remain closed for the foreseeable future until they can be maintained and re-inspected.

Additionally, there will be temporary closures on Grand River Avenue and other streets in the impacted area based on ongoing clean up and safety assessments.

All of the city’s municipal infrastructure that is open has been deemed safe to the public. Pedestrian bridges and city trails are closed until further inspections can be completed. Gas and hydro has been restored to 95 per cent of residents and businesses in the impacted area. Fifteen homes cannot be re-activated due to further inspections required.

Anyone in the flood-affected zones with urgent or emergency concerns regarding food or housing can contact Victim Services of Brant at 519-756-0113 or 519-756-7050. If victims of the flood have emergency shelter needs they can contact Victim Services of Brant at 519-756-0113 or 519-756-7050.

Representatives from the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) were in the impacted area over the weekend to assist residents affected by the flooding in processing their claims.

For those who do not have flood insurance, our provincial partners from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs have been assessing the evacuation areas over the past three days to determine if residents impacted by the flood event are eligible for the Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians. It is our expectation that the Ministry’s announcement regarding recovery assistance is imminent.

The city will host a public information centre to provide a situation update and answer questions of residents at:

T.B. Costain Community Centre, 16 Morrell St, Brantford
Thursday, March 1, 2018
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Residents who have been directly impacted by the flood event are encouraged to attend.

DONATIONS

Members of the community who wish to contribute monetary donations, food items, hygiene products or cleaning items can drop them off at any of the following:

If flood victims do not require donations that have already been made to the Salvation Army or The Food Bank, please note that they may be used for other members of the community who are in need.

The public is reminded to exercise extreme caution around all water bodies. Banks adjacent to rivers and creeks are very slippery at this time and continue to pose a VERY serious hazard. Parents are encouraged to keep their children and pets away from all watercourses and off frozen water bodies.

Railings and safety devices on dike walls and roadways adjacent to the river were damaged during this event. GRCA and City staff will be working to repair this infrastructure in the coming weeks. The public is asked to stay back from the dyke slopes and flood walls.

A significant amount of ice and debris remains along waterways throughout the entire watershed. River banks may have become destabilized during this event due to erosion. GRCA and municipal staff are in the process of inspecting dike systems and flood walls. The combination of slippery river banks, fast-moving water, and unstable ice greatly increases the risk around waterways. The public is asked to stay away from rivers and streams throughout the watershed at this time.

The EOC will continue to monitor the situation and updates regarding service impacts to the community will continue to be shared regularly on the city’s website at http://www.brantford.ca, and on the city’s primary social media accounts at:

facebook.com/CityofBrantford | @CityofBrantford

The City of Brantford customer contact centre is available to answer resident inquiries during regular business hours at 519-759-4150.

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