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N.S. property owners face delays in trying to make Fiona-related repairs


For Nova Scotians still waiting for repairs after post-tropical storm Fiona, it’s now been more than five months.

Repeatedly there have been pleas for help, and for some, it hasn't come.

“We were told [a] four to six week wait and we're now going on 14 weeks,” said Thomas Lynk, who lives in Westmount, N.S.

After CTV News reported on a woman from Louisbourg, N.S., who was still waiting to see if insurance would cover damage to her home, help did eventually come in the form of a settlement from her insurance company.

In January, the Insurance Bureau of Canada estimated insured damages from post-tropical storm Fiona would reach $800 million. The figure is higher than the bureau's original estimate of $660 million.

The revised estimation makes hurricane Fiona the seventh costliest extreme weather event in Canada's history and the most costly in Atlantic Canada.

“There have been a number of constituents primarily dealing with insurance delays and difficulty getting a hold of their insurance company. We haven't had too many constituents up to this point follow up in the last couple weeks with anything related to the DFA,” said Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg MLA Brian Comer.

The Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) program was announced after the storm to help people and organizations with uninsurable losses.

“I think we still need to work hard on getting the money out and we are working on that. I know people are concerned about that and we're working on it,” said John Lohr, minister of municipal affairs and housing.

Lohr says the province has received 800 applications.

He's met with the federal government and has requested more assistance.

“I did ask for a low income cut off, that if you're below a certain income the insurance requirement is waived. I have no idea if they will do that, but that's something we see as a need,” said Lohr.

He has also asked about the $300 million given to Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and says some of that money still hasn't been allocated.

“The reality is, I think, Ottawa is going in a different direction, which I’m disappointed to say,” said Lohr. “They want insurance involved all the time and how they can backstop flood insurance.”

Meanwhile, the waiting game continues for residents who say they have waited long enough.

With files from the Canadian Press. Top Stories

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