Duane Desrosiers cleaning up his flooded building at 65 Thames St. in Chatham. (Photo by Paul Pedro)

UPDATE: Province Begins Assessment As CK Flood Cleanup Continues

The flood cleanup is underway in Chatham and in Thamesville now that the flood waters are receding and river levels are back to normal.

Duane Desrosiers had his building at 65 Thames St. in Chatham flooded and the two doctors renting office space had to see their patients at other doctors’ offices.

Desrosiers, whose building is about 100ft from the river, says he’s had flood waters at his front door before but never high enough to flood the offices.

“It’s been up to the step before during the last flood,” says Desrosiers.

Debris left behind by the rushing river still has to be removed from the banks.

The municipality is preparing a plan for removal of flood-damaged debris from affected areas. That information will be made public as soon as the plan is finalized.

The province is still trying to determine if downtown businesses hit with flooding will be part of the disaster relief funding. It’s expected to make an announcement soon.

Mayor Randy Hope says the best thing to do is to keep receipts and take photos until the province determines what is covered.

Chatham-Kent Communications Officer Jim Blake says provincial officials will visit Chatham and Thamesville on Wednesday and Thursday to assess damage and decide what programs may be offered.

The municipality says if the Disaster Recovery Assistance Program is activated, residents and business owners must complete an application and include receipts and other pertinent documentation within 120 days.

Desrosiers says his cleanup bill will be thousands of dollars but his insurance won’t cover flooding because his building is too close to the river.

“No flood insurance, they won’t cover you for flooding this close to the river. Any of these businesses aren’t covered,” he says.

Desrosiers hopes to have his building cleaned up in about a week.

“Doctor Sharma and Doctor Haddad. Winmar thinks it’ll be dry by Thursday or Friday and then I’ll have to get the new carpets put in,” Desrosiers says.

For more information about disaster relief funding criteria click here (Read section 3 for homeowners & section 4 for small businesses).

Residents who have left their homes and are considering returning need to ensure their street is open and utilities are operational. For information on restoring service call 519-360-1998 or the utilities directly.

For general information about insurance, visit the Insurance Bureau of Canada site: www.ibc.ca

Information about cleaning up after a flood can be found here: https://www.bchu.org/ServicesWeProvide/HealthyLivingAndSafety/Documents/Cleaning%20up%20after%20a%20Flood-FactSheet_v2.pdf

Information about the dangers of mould growth and how to prevent it visit here: https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/first-nation/care-for-your-home/mould/upload/flood-cleanup-first-nation.pdf

For information on food safety, visit here: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/pdf/flyer-eatsafefood.pdf