Un­for­tu­nate cir­cum­stance

Deputy mayor says Rocky Har­bour not li­able for res­i­dent’s flood­ing is­sues

The Western Star - - FRONT PAGE - BY GARY KEAN [email protected]­ern­star.com Twit­ter: WS_GaryKean

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.

WEST­ERN STAR FILE PHOTO

Dam­age done to John Grant’s home dur­ing a Jan­uary flood in Rocky Har­bour had made his home un­live­able.

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