Six inches of water in the basement has left Luis Ospina facing significant cleanup and restoration costs.
The father of three young children is one of many Brandonites who will seek disaster financial assistance following the heavy rainstorms, high winds and overland flooding in the area.
"The carpet’s done, freezer’s done, my walls … I need to take off the drywall," he said.
Ospina and his wife, Diana Sanchez, attended the provincial Emergency Measures Organization’s mobile recovery van on Wednesday, which is stationed at the Keystone Centre again today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
In addition to EMO, representatives with the Canadian Red Cross, The Salvation Army and St. John Ambulance were there to assist people impacted by the flood.
"The Red Cross helped us so much, with money for food, clothes, maybe next week help us for the furniture," said Sanchez, who moved from Colombia to Brandon five years ago.
"It’s very stressful because my husband and I sleep in the basement, but in this moment all my things and us, we sleep in the living room, on the floor.
"It’s very bad for us."
Canadian Red Cross spokesperson Calli Forbes said the organization is helping people with their immediate needs over the next few weeks.
"We can see if they need help with food, do they need help with gas, help getting some clothes from Walmart, that sort of thing," she said.
RM of Cornwallis resident Garth Hoy filed a DFA claim for the damages caused by recent storms.
"We had a large 50-foot tree come down, knocked out the hydro," he said.
Hoy had to bring in additional pumps for the basement and a generator to keep the power on at his home and business, as the power was out for an entire day. He hopes to recoup some of the cost.
"Every little bit counts," he said. "It’s a mess out there."
The mobile recovery office has been visiting communities in the southwest corner of the province for the past 10 days.
So far, they have stopped in Virden, Elkhorn, Deloraine and Melita.
Jeremy Angus, director of recovery with Manitoba EMO, said the purpose is to get out into the communities that have experienced damages from the recent flooding, so they can get into a DFA program as quickly as possible.
"Generally speaking, it’s any response costs that people have incurred, whether it’s putting up sandbags or moving personal items in their home … setting up water pumps, if they were evacuated, those costs are all eligible," he said.
Restoration or replacement of essential items and structural damage to principle residences also quality for DFA funds.
Angus said the mobile recovery office sees 20 to 30 people on average each day, but they have seen as many as 83 on a single day.
"I don’t think there’s any other way to classify it, other than unprecedented," he said.
EMO is setting up a temporary DFA office in Brandon at 1601 Van Horne Ave. East, which will open next week.
It is a place for EMO staff to work out of while they are doing inspections, but it will also be open to the public.
Angus encourages anyone who has experienced damages from recent rain and flooding to come to the mobile recovery office to open up a claim.
EMO is heading to Pierson on Friday and Saturday. Next week they will stop in Tilston and St. Lazare.
"If they’re unable to make it to the mobile command centre, I strongly encourage them to either phone us … or go onto our website — they can apply online, or fax. There’s lots of ways for us to get their application," Angus said.
DFA is a federal program, administered by the province.
To file a claim, call 1-888-267-8298 or visit www.gov.mb.ca/emo.» firstname.lastname@example.org
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