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City of Peterborough to apply for disaster relief funding following May 21 storm: mayor

Click to play video: 'City of Peterborough to apply for disaster relief funding following May 21 storm: mayor' City of Peterborough to apply for disaster relief funding following May 21 storm: mayor
The City of Peterborough is looking to the province for help in dealing with the aftermath of the May 21 storm. Mark Giunta has more – May 31, 2022

The City of Peterborough is looking to the province for help in dealing with the aftermath of a derecho storm that tore through the region on May 21.

Mayor Diane Therrien tells Global News Peterborough the city continues to have discussions with staff from the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

Read more: City of Peterborough declares state of emergency following Saturday’s storm

“I do know that staff are meeting again with ministry staff tomorrow (Wednesday). They’re going through the process to apply for some of those disaster relief funds,” Therrien said.

“Hopefully we’ll see that come in as soon as possible, because we desperately need it.”

According to the City of Peterborough, its public works department has fielded more than 12,000 requests for service as of Friday last week.

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Social services, information technology, waste management services and may other program areas are working together to assist in the community recovery efforts.

Click to play video: 'City of Peterborough to help residents remove green waste caused by storm' City of Peterborough to help residents remove green waste caused by storm
City of Peterborough to help residents remove green waste caused by storm – May 30, 2022

Therrien said resources are now taxed.

“Absolutely.  It’s been a heck of a couple years for city staff. The emergency control group was still meeting intermittently for COVID and then we’ve been meeting daily, sometimes twice daily since the May 2-4 weekend since this all went down,” she said.

“Staff have been, on top of their normal jobs, have had to again pivot and reconfigure and address the various issues we’ve been facing under this emergency situation.”

Therrien declared a state of emergency for the city on May 24.

Read more: Peterborough storm response offers green waste drop-off site, garbage collection adjustments

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On Monday, council announced the city would pickup storm debris from residents at no cost, but it will likely take weeks to get to all of it, given how widespread the damage is across the area.

Meanwhile, utility crews continue to work at restoring power in small pockets in east of the city.

Hydro One has coordinated 627 staff staged out of the command centre on Crawford Drive in Peterborough, which includes crews from across the province and parts of the United States.

READ MORE: 11th person dies from weekend storm, tens of thousands Ontarians still without power

Hydro One efforts have included 69 regular linemen from as far away as Listowel, Parry Sound, Bracebridge, Walkerton, Barrie and Toronto.

Also helping are 130 regular Hydro One forestry staff from across the province along with 55 damage assessors.

In addition to those efforts, other distribution companies are helping out from as far as Niagara, Sudbury, Sarnia and Windsor.

There are also six utility contractors with 164 staff in the city from Durham, Guelph and Vaughan, Ont.; New Brunswick, Pennsylvania and Alabama.

“It has been an incredible effort to respond to the damage and disruption caused by the storm,” Therrien added.

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“The response has been meaningful and inspiring. Thank you to everyone in our community and people have come from beyond Peterborough to help.”

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