B.C.’s flood recovery efforts are shifting to cleanup of vast amounts of water-damaged material from homes and properties, and support for evacuees is shifting from local governments to the Canadian Red Cross with provincial funding, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said Monday.
Some of the Canadian Armed Forces troops who came into B.C. for emergency flooding response are heading home, but 126 soldiers will remain in Chilliwack to continue with recovery work, Farnworth said at an Emergency Management B.C. briefing from Victoria Dec. 6.
“The province is now supporting the safe removal of debris and flood damaged materials,” Farnworth said. “This will be a coordinated approach, working with local governments, first nations, provincial crews and the British Columbians who have been affected.”
Management of evacuee supports is also changing, but those in need of assistance should not see any change.
“Given the ongoing pressures of these events, starting Dec. 15 flood evacuee support will shift from being managed by local governments to being supported through the Red Cross with funding from the province,” Farnworth said.
“While the back-end management of this evacuee support is shifting, nothing will change in the level or types of support received. The Red Cross has the required capacity and experience. The transition should be seamless and I want to thank them for their ongoing work and support since this event began.”
The Red Cross relief fund is being supported by donations from citizens at B.C. liquor stores and online at their page for B.C. flood relief.
“Donations have been pouring in to the Canadian Red Cross, which our government and the federal government have committed to matching,” Farnworth said. “As of Friday, $8.6 million has already been disbursed to evacuees through a variety of means, including the $2,000 payments announced by the province.”