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B.C. expands disaster financial assistance program after flooding, landslides

Disaster relief expanded

British Columbia has expanded emergency financial assistance for people affected by extensive flooding and landslides over the last three weeks.

The Ministry of Public Safety says the province's disaster financial assistance program is available to help eligible people recover from the impacts of a series of destructive storms between Nov. 14 and Dec. 2.

It says eligibility has been expanded to affected residents in the northwest, southwest, central and southeast regions as well as Vancouver Island.

The assistance is available to eligible homeowners, residential tenants, business owners, farm owners and charitable organizations that were unable to obtain insurance to cover disaster-related losses.

It's paid out for each approved claim at 80 per cent of the total amount of eligible damage that exceeds $1,000, to a maximum of $300,000.

Emergency Management B.C. is accepting applications until March 3.

Support is also available to local governments and Indigenous communities.

The province also says highway infrastructure is vulnerable in the aftermath of the storms and routes could close if conditions change.

Travel advisories were in place for sections of Highway 1 between Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Hope and north to Boston Bar. The highway remained closed from just north of Boston Bar to Lytton and Spences Bridge.

An advisory was also in place Highway 3 between Hope and Princeton, which is open only to those travelling for essential purposes.

Highway 7 between Hope and Mission and Highway 99 from just north of Pemberton to Lillooet are also open for essential travel only.

The Coquihalla highway remained closed between Hope and Merritt.

The province is in the planning stages of determining temporary reopening measures for that route, Transportation Minister Rob Fleming said Friday.



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