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Long-term Solutions to Flooding Will be Recommended

June 18, 2012 9:30 am – As recovery proceeds, the City is addressing short-term needs and preparing for long-term solutions to address flooding.

“At the June 25 Council meeting, Administration will recommend the development of a master storm drainage study with the initial focus on hardest hit areas in the McKellar and Northwood Wards,” said City Manager Tim Commisso. “We will also recommend a review of residential drainage assistance and basement flooding prevention programs based on best practices used in other municipalities, such as Toronto where the City subsidizes private property owners to help them take steps to protect their homes from flooding. 

“Finally, we will formally recommend an independent assessment of the flood-damaged Water Pollution Control Plant and wastewater collection system,” Commisso said.

Council looks forward to hearing these recommendations, said Mayor Keith Hobbs. “I’m confident that Administration will present ideas that can help homeowners and the City protect against the damaging effects of future flooding.”

Meanwhile, the Atlantic Avenue Water Pollution Control Plant continues to process incoming flows. “The Water Pollution Control Plant performed well in the weekend rain fall,” said Kerri Marshall, Manager – Environment, City of Thunder Bay. “We’re making progress in repairing other areas of the plant.”

The Canadian Red Cross and The Salvation Army are shifting their focus this week from immediate relief to longer-term recovery efforts. 

“Starting today, the Red Cross is providing referrals to people who need assistance,” said Rob Kilgour, District Branch Manager of the Red Cross.

“The Salvation Army is offering furniture and vouchers for clothing,” said Major Merv Halvorsen of The Salvation Army.

Bag Limit Returning
As of this week, the three bag limit on garbage is back in place. To assist residents and businesses affected by the flood, the City of Thunder Bay will continue the special free of charge large rubbish collection. 

Safe Home Clean-up Program

About 560 homeowners have now registered for clean-up assistance through the Safe Home clean-up program through the City’s Facilities & Fleet Department, working with contractors.

The focus of the ongoing clean-up is on making homes safe and addressing health issues. There are approximately 20 homes needing assistance as of today, said Michael Smith, General Manager – Facilities and Fleet.

Water Bill Relief Available

Residential property owners affected by the flood can receive a credit on their water bill by completing the form posted on the City’s dedicated flood emergency web page or available at City Hall.

Forms can be downloaded from (under Water Bill Relief Form) and must be completed by Sept. 30, 2012. Users of the City’s sanitary sewer system who were affected by the flood will receive a $207 credit, while residential property owners who are not connected to the sanitary sewer system (and were affected by the flood) will receive a credit of $118.

In order to qualify for the water bill relief, residential property owners must include one of the following: a copy of a flood insurance claim, receipts from contractors that reference flood damage repairs, photos of damaged property (for owners who don’t have insurance).

Disaster Relief Committee

Donations to the Thunder Bay Disaster Assistance Relief Fund can be made at the Thunder Bay 55 Plus Centre on River Street, the Canada Games Complex, Volunteer Pool, Churchill Pool and the Victoriaville Civic Centre Cashiers.

Only donations to the Disaster Relief Committee Fund will be matched by the Province.

City Clerk John Hannam reminds residents affected by the flood that the claims process will take some time. “A claim form is not available yet. We will make an announcement on the claims process as the Disaster Relief Committee gets underway,” Hannam said.

When claim forms are available, an announcement will be made and posted at

In keeping with the commitment made at the June 2 public meetings, the City is holding another set of public meetings on Saturday, June 23. Meetings will include an update and questions & answers followed by an opportunity to pick up claim forms and ask specific questions. Meetings will be held as follows:

Slovak Legion, 801 Atlantic Avenue, 1 to 2:30 pm

Moose Hall, 434 Fort William Road, 4 to 5:30 pm

Affected residents without insurance or inadequate coverage can get ready to make a claim by preparing lists; taking pictures of damaged property; keeping a diary; maintaining receipts, invoices and estimates.

The Emergency Operations Control Group will meet Thursday, June 21, and a media briefing will be held at 9:30 am.


Contact: Brandon Walker, Communications Officer, 625-2438