Almost 2,890 Quebec homes still affected by flooding: Public security minister

The province has announced it's raising the amount of financial assistance to help people with related damages

The province’s government announced on Wednesday it is raising the amount of financial assistance to help people with related damages

Quebec’s public security minister says waters are continuing to recede from flood-stricken areas of the province.

The one region where levels have risen is Lac-Saint-Jean, about 225 kilometres north of Quebec City.

Martin Coiteux says almost 2,890 homes are still affected by floods and 2,668 citizens have been evacuated from 78 communities.

He says personnel will be deployed in the coming days to help with cleanup operations.

Labour Minister Dominique Vien says resources are being put in place to help people rebuild. The government has reached agreements with a number of construction-related organizations that have promised to provide service at a fair price, according to Vien.

In addition, Premier Philippe Couillard announced on Wednesday that the amount of financial assistance available for people dealing specifically with the aftermath of heavy flooding this year has been topped up.

The maximum amount paid out for the replacement of a home destroyed by floods is being increased to $200,000 from $160,000, with the possibility of an extra $50,000 for the land. That $200,000 cap will also apply to repairs, while the percentage of amounts covered is being increased to 90% from 80%.

The money being doled out for other material losses is being increased and the province says owners of rental properties are also eligible.

The new measures announced Wednesday apply to this spring’s flooding, which the premier qualified as exceptional.

While the maximum amounts aren’t likely to cover the cost of rebuilding a home, Couillard said there has to be a limit.

“There is no program anywhere without a ceiling, you have to control expenses at some point,” he said. “It’s not an insignificant amount (as much as $250,000), I realize that in certain very expensive homes, it’s not going to cover everything, but if you look at the income of Quebecers … it will cover a significant share of the population.”

The province said it has paid out $3.6 million so far in financial assistance, with the pace of payouts working out to $450,000 per day. Preliminary estimates suggest damages will cost $350 million.

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Transcontinental Media G.P.