Piwniuk announced the rollout of Disaster Financial Assistance to help with damages to infrastructure, homes, farms and small businesses.
“We continue to work with local authorities on response efforts and a program will be available to assess damages and provide assistance for those who need it,” he said.
The assistance program, he said, provides financial help for uninsurable losses, including verified livestock losses — but Manitobans are encouraged to check with their insurance providers before applying, as some costs may not be covered.
There may also be financial assistance available from the federal government, he said, and the Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization is planning public webinars as well as info-sharing with municipalities to answer any questions about financial relief.
Flooding continues to impact communities across the province.
Earlier Monday morning, Rural Municipality of Emerson reeve Dave Carlson told 680 CJOB’s The Start he hopes flood compensation flows quickly, as high winds on the weekend worsened the situation in his area — pushing debris around further and washing out more roads.
Carlson said the rain in the forecast for this week will only add to the timeframe for recovery.
“I don’t know if it’ll be more damaging or levels will go up higher, but anything that prolongs this isn’t good,” he said.
“We need our farmers in the flood areas to get onto the fields, and we need to be able to do our cleanups and get our roads fixed.
“If we keep in this (weather) system, there’s potential that some farmers won’t be able to seed certain areas of their farms, so we’re hoping that’s not the case.”
Heavy snowfall and spring rain storms have left many parts of Manitoba flooded, and some 30 municipalities and First Nations are under local states of emergency.
The hardest-hit area is Peguis First Nation, where 1,600 people have been evacuated and hundreds of homes have been impacted by the swollen Fisher River.
The river has dropped in recent days, but with more rain in the forecast this week it is expected to rise again.
–With files from The Canadian Press