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VICTORIA — Residents in British Columbia who were affected by flooding will be eligible next month for personalized support to help navigate the recovery process and available funding programs. 

The B.C. government says in a news release that beginning Feb. 1, evacuees receiving Emergency Support Services since the Nov. 15 storms will be offered the expanded help through the Canadian Red Cross.

It says case managers will assess people’s needs and connect them with existing funding programs like Disaster Financial Assistance where eligible, as well as create recovery plans to access funding for rebuilding homes or relocating to new communities. 

The support is funded through $30 million in donations matched by both the B.C. and federal governments for a total $90-million fund, called the Floods and Extreme Weather Appeal. 

As of Monday, the Red Cross had distributed $17 million in evacuation-related emergency funding to more than 7,200 eligible households. 

Record rainfall in a series of atmospheric rivers washed over southern B.C., causing mudslides, washouts and flooding. Several communities were flooded and thousands of properties were evacuated. 

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says in the statement that many people who were affected by the flooding still haven’t been able to return home.

“We are here for you, and we’re making sure people receive the support they need and for the length of time needed, including lodging, basic needs and mental-health supports.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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