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At least 120 people still not able to return home after New Brunswick floods: Red Cross

A New Brunswick flag floats in front of a cottage destroyed by flooding from the Saint John River in Waterborough, N.B., on Sunday, May 13, 2018. .
A New Brunswick flag floats in front of a cottage destroyed by flooding from the Saint John River in Waterborough, N.B., on Sunday, May 13, 2018. . The Canadian Press/Darren Calabrese

At least 120 people are still not able to return home after the historic flooding two months ago, the New Brunswick branch of the Canadian Red Cross said on Tuesday.

Bill Lawlor, the provincial director of the New Brunsiwck Red Cross, said the number could even be higher.

“Those are only the people who have registered with us,”said Lawlor.

READ MORE: Three-quarters of New Brunswickers satisfied with province’s response to historic flooding

Those whose homes have been the hardest hit by the flooding — being severely damaged or even a total write-off — have been put up in emergency accommodations.

But not everyone has been displaced for the entire two-month period.

Lawlor says some of those who are currently displaced have only recently been placed in accommodations.

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“They’re the ones who went and stayed with family and friends, thinking that it would be relatively short term and that once the waters receded they’d be able to return home” he said.

“We’ve now seen that that has not been the case.”

One of the challenges has been the ability to line up construction crews or contractors to rebuild homes. Lawlor says that it’s now “prime” contractor season and this year’s workload is heavy with both non-flooding and flooding-related construction.

WATCH: Flood water damages bridges, residents hope for quick repairs

Flood water damages bridges, residents hope for quick repairs
Flood water damages bridges, residents hope for quick repairs

The Red Cross says that so far they’ve received $1.16 million in donations to help with the flooding — the most the New Brunswick branch has ever received for an incident inside the province.

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“That’s from individuals, corporations, and we had two neighbouring provinces — P.E.I and Nova Scotia — also lend a hand,” Lawlor said.

Although New Brunswick has closed its doors to applications for assistance, the Red Cross says they will accept applications up until July 17.

Lawlor said applications have already tapered off but that it’s important for people to know they can get help if they need it.

READ MORE: N.B. provincial archives offering to restore photos, documents damaged by flooding

With 1,136 households — approximately 2,524 individuals — from across the province registered with the Red Cross in the wake of the floods, Lawlor said that there are challenges still ahead for the organization.

“We have had people from every corner of the province,” Lawlor said.

“This is certainly the largest number of individuals we’ve ever had.”