Ontario asked to designate Ottawa an area specifically affected by natural disaster following May 21 storm

Mayor Jim Watson is asking the Ontario government to designate Ottawa as an area specifically affected by a natural disaster, allowing residents to submit claims for financial assistance to the province following last month’s storm.

Watson sent a letter to Premier Doug Ford this week following a request from council to seek more assistance for residents cleaning up and repairing damage to homes and properties.

“I am writing to formally request that the City of Ottawa be designated as an area specifically affected by a natural disaster so that residents can access the Provincial Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians program,” Watson wrote.

“As you know, the property devastation, loss of trees and impacts to our hydro network has been unprecedented.”

A May 21 storm with wind gusts up to 190 km/h damaged homes, properties and the Hydro Ottawa infrastructure.

Council approved a motion from Coun. Catherine Kitts to request the province declare Ottawa an “area specifically affected by a natural disaster.”

The Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians program allows homeowners, residential tenants, small owner-operated businesses, not-for profit organizations and small owner-operated farms to submit claims to the province for financial help to cover clean up and repair expenses.

Premier Ford has promised the city of Ottawa that the Ontario government will cover all municipal costs associated with the storm.

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