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The CALM before the Storm

Sunday, January 18, 2015 - 4:03pm

We remember life’s events by seasons, where we were, how we felt, fragrance, what was playing on the radio or other sensory parallels. Our kids will forever remember the Toronto flood of July 8, 2013 as a catastrophic event that happened just as they began their “summer vacation” from school. The rain pounded Toronto for only a few hours but left a near 97mm of water to ravage the homes of Toronto residents. It was the worst flash flood from massive rains since 1954’s Hurricane Hazel, an event that was retold for decades by those that experienced it.

Over a year has passed since July 2013 when Toronto homes were awash by nearly 97mm of rain, yet many residents still struggle with what the storm left behind. Although an exact number has yet to be tallied, experts surmise that the insured losses from this storm could well exceed $600-million. If these predictions are accurate, this storm stands a contender against southwestern Ontario’s devastating disaster in 2005, which was the third most expensive event of the last 20 years. Due to the fact the heavy rainfall buried cars, flooded basements, and damaged city infrastructure, a variety of insurance premiums are being claimed, costing the financial institutions and the residents of Toronto a fortune in repairs.

The summer of 2014 has brought with it more heavy rains and with each storm everyone wonders whether we will have a repeat of last year’s catastrophe. The insurance Bureau of Canada has said that it’s not a matter of “if” but rather “when” that is the question. ISBC spokesperson, Steve Kee explained in a Canada AM interview. Here is some information to help you prepare for that possibility.

Basement Flooding Protection Subsidiary Program

In this time of need, the City of Toronto promotes theirBasement Flooding Protection Subsidiary Program.Through this program, the City extends up to $3,200 in financial subsidiary to single-family, duplex, and triplex homes. With this money, home owners are able to install a variety of flood protection devices, including:

  • Backwater Value — Up to 80% of the cost on a maximum of $1,250
  • Sump Pump — 80% of the cost up to a maximum of $1,750
  • Pipe Severance and Capping — 80% of the cost up to a maximum of $400

Eligible homes will also have the opportunity to combine the tools listed above, adjusting the maximum cost and subsidiary percentage accordingly. All maximum costs include labour, materials, as well as taxes. For more information on eligibility and application, please visit the Basement Flooding Protection Subsidiary Program website.

Protect Yourself

On the City of Toronto’s website, they have posted a very educational video onflood protection. Due to a recent increase of severe weather conditions, residents are urged to watch this video and implement some of its tips:

  • Isolate your home from the City’s sewer system to reduce chances of basement flooding
  • Slope ground away from your home
  • Fix leaky pipes, windows, and basements
  • Clear eaves of debris
  • Ensure downspout drain is at least 18-metres from your home

Canada AM Link
Steve Kee of the Insurance Bureau of Canada explains what homeowners need to know in the thick of storm season and how they can prepare.

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