Laval residents picking up the pieces after ice storm
Laval resident Josiane Lenain relied on her small basement fireplace to heat her whole house while she had no power. She said the heat emitted from it warmed her living space up to 15 degrees.
“It was chilly,” she said. “But we could tolerate it.”
What worries the retiree now, though, is the cost of cutting down damaged branches from her backyard tree.
“If a branch falls on a child or one of our neighbours, it could be terrible,” she said.
She’s waiting to hear back from her insurance company to see if it will help pay for it.
“I would prefer to get reimbursed, but I am not sure they will cover it,” she said.
As the clean up continues from the storm that paralyzed parts of Laval for days, many residents are now assessing the damage.
Liliana Antonacci lost the contents of her fridge and freezer, which she estimates was worth around $150. She spent a lot of money in restaurants while she had no power.
She says she has a $500 insurance deductible, so claiming anything isn’t worth it.
“After 35 years, you pay insurance, they don’t cover anything: the food, they don’t cover the trees, they don’t cover anything,” Antonacci said. “It’s useless.”
The Insurance Bureau of Canada says most damage from an ice storm is covered, but deductibles vary.
“Calling your insurer is the first step,” said Pierre Babinsky, of the Insurance Bureau of Canada. “You have to consider the claim you will file. If it’s mostly the contents of your fridge and you have a large deductible on your policy, you may not feel it’s worth it.”
The City of Laval isn’t offering compensation to residents for issues related to this ice storm, but a spokesman says they are offering help to residents in other ways.
“There is a bunch of stuff we do offer,” said Louise-Philippe Dorais. “Community centres, our patrol cars are on site, police on site, fire department providing help.
“We are doing the best we can.”
Laval says it made a colossal effort to help citizens during the crisis. At the height of the storm, half of Laval’s 450,000 residents lost power.
As of Thursday afternoon, around 1,000 people in Laval still had no power.
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