Deputy mayor says Rocky Harbour not liable for resident’s flooding issues
Rocky Harbour Deputy Mayor Frank Piercey says the town is not liable for resident John Grant’s flooding issues.
Like many western Newfoundland communities, Rocky Harbour had its share of major problems with flooding back in January.
Deputy Mayor Frank Piercey said it’s unfortunate that some people may have been affected worse than others and may face difficulties getting government help to deal with issues caused by the flooding.
The region was hit with a significant rainstorm Jan. 13. The troubles caused by the unusually mild temperatures and heavy rains were exacerbated by the blanket of snow cover that melted and added to the extreme runoff.
Recently, town resident John Grant went public with his story of frustration. His house was flooded with water and backedup sewer. It’s not fit to live in, but Grant said he has had to spend some time living there since May because he has no place else to go.
His insurance policy did not cover the sewer backing up into his house. He applied for government disaster relief funding, but has been told he was ineligible because he should have had insurance to cover it.
Grant, who claims the type of coverage he needed was actually unavailable in the area prior to January’s storm, said the issues he had were not caused by his own property. He claims the municipality’s water and sewer infrastructure was overwhelmed to a point that it caused the sewer to back up into his house.
Piercey acknowledged the town’s water and sewer system could not handle all the water that tried to flow through it during the big storm. He said there were numerous cases of people’s basements being flooded, in addition to roads being damaged and culvert and driveways being washed out.
But, the town shouldn’t be held liable for what happened with Grant’s property, he said.
“It’s very unfortunate what happened to Mr. Grant,” said Piercey. “I think a lot of his issue was he doesn’t have a back-flow valve on to prevent sewer from backing into his house.”
Piercey said the town is having its own frustrations trying to access disaster relief funding as nothing has been approved for Rocky Harbour yet, as far as he was aware.
Damage done to John Grant’s home during a January flood in Rocky Harbour had made his home unliveable.