UPDATED: Province to help pay for damage caused by post-tropical storm Arthur

FREDERICTON – The New Brunswick government has announced financial help for those affected by the estimated $12.6 million worth of damage caused by post-tropical storm Arthur.

Arthur blew through the province July 5 bringing rain and heavy winds that caused widespread flooding and prolonged power outages.

Public Safety Minister Stephen Horsman says homeowners and businesses will have until Feb. 20 to apply for government assistance.

Horsman says most of the damage caused to private properties by wind should be covered by insurance, but he says if it isn’t, people should contact the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization for an eligibility assessment.

For homeowners like Anitra Parks, the fund could be a big help in dealing with the tree stumps that still litter her yard. The storm took down nine trees around her house.

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“It took down all of the wonderfulness that made our house, all the character that it was,” said Parks. “We call it the naked house now, because there’s nothing left, you know?”

Parks says she would consider applying for the funding, depending on how long the process takes. But she’s happy the option is there.

“I’m really glad to hear that the province is doing something about it.”

One group that will apply is the City of Fredericton. Crews continue to clean up and repair the damage left from Arthur. So far, the cost out-of-pocket for the city is more than $1.8-million.

City councillor Bruce Grandy says they need as much of that money back as possible.

“We’re hoping that the majority of our costs meet the criterion, that’s vital in order for us to balance our 2014 budget. As you can imagine, an expenditure of over $1.8-million put a lot of pressure on our budget to keep it balanced for 2014,” he said.

The program will help cover the costs of basic need items, such as repairs of structural damage to homes and businesses.

Individual homeowners and not-for-profit organizations must pay the first $1,000 worth of damage while the deductible for farms, fishermen and small businesses is $5,000.

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Applications will be open until February 20, 2015.

With files from The Canadian Press

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