Five more weeks until all flood reports are completed: Coiteux
Published Tuesday, July 11, 2017 12:57PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, July 12, 2017 8:35AM EDT
Quebec's public security minister says it will take another five weeks before all the reports on flooded homes are complete.
At a news conference Tuesday, Martin Coiteux said he has hired 90 additional employees to work on demands for compensation from the spring floods.
Many victims of the floods gave an earful to government officials at public consultations Monday night, telling them it's taking too long to receive the financial assistance they were promised by the government.
Coiteux is urging people to be patient as his staff deals with the backlog. About 8,000 homes in 278 municipalities were affected by the flooding, and Coiteux said it’s difficult to assess and assist everyone at once.
The minister said his office is currently able to complete about 100 inspections per day, and at this rate will be finished in mid-August.
"We received something like 3,000 files from citizens and we're going at the rate of 500 per week, so you can see the rate at which we can complete the exercise, we're talking about five weeks," said Coiteux.
Still, Coiteux couldn’t give a date as to when homeowners would receive their long-awaited compensation, saying they would have a clearer picture by the end of the summer.
“People will be able to make their decisions this summer because we will all receive their reports in the next five weeks. This summer, people will know exactly what the extent of the damage is and what financial assistance they will receive, so we’re speeding up with the affected areas,” he said.
Flood victims like Raymond Hogue said he is still waiting for compensation even though his house was looked at earlier this year.
"I already made my claim two months ago and I had an inspector come five weeks ago, so I don't know if I'm coming or going," he said.
One reason for the delay is that inspectors are dealing with the worst cases first.
"We have prioritized at the beginning the most complex cases, the ones who may face total losses or who would face major repairs. We start with those people, but they're the most complex to produce also," said Coiteux.
One of the difficulties is dealing with people who have homes built in flood zones. Those homeowners will not be permitted to rebuild on those properties. Coiteux said the government is exploring some options but doesn’t have those answers yet.