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Public Safety Minister Kris Austin (left), Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Richard Ames (centre), and Sussex-Fundy-St. Martins MLA Tammy Scott-Wallace (right) assess the damage left behind by flooding in Sussex on Feb. 29, 2024. Image: Submitted/Government of New Brunswick

Financial assistance uncertain after Sussex flooding

By Brad Perry Mar 1, 2024 | 6:30 AM

It is too soon to say if disaster financial assistance will be offered after this week’s flooding in the Sussex area.

Premier Blaine Higgs issued a statement Thursday afternoon as water levels continued to recede in the community.

“The extent of the damage will only be known once the water levels have dropped,” Higgs said in the statement.

“Once the damage has been assessed, decisions can be made if disaster financial assistance may be required for damages that could not be insured.”

Up to 200 millimetres of rain fell in the Sussex region Wednesday and into Thursday, causing several road closures and forcing some residents from their homes.

Washouts and low-level flooding were also reported elsewhere in the province, according to officials.

“The New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization (NBEMO) is working in collaboration with provincial and municipal partners to assist the Town of Sussex as it deals with response and recovery activities,” said Higgs.

Meanwhile, New Brunswick’s public safety minister said the province cannot continue to bail out the same properties after each flood.

Kris Austin told reporters in Sussex on Thursday that mitigation programs are always better than paying for damages after a disaster.

But he says the province cannot do it alone and called on the federal government to offer a mitigation program.

Sussex is still waiting for funding to implement a series of flood mitigation measures, which include building two diversion channels to divert flood waters around the community.