Corner Brook couple decides to return to their Valley Road home

Diane Crocker
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Joan Hanlon surveys the brook from behind her home on Valley Road in this file photo.

CORNER BROOK  A Corner Brook couple are moving back into their home after flooding during a November rain storm caused a portion of the bank behind their house to give way, leaving them feeling they had no choice but to leave.

Joan and Leonard Hanlon live at 56 Valley Rd. Their home sits above Bell’s Brook and, on Nov. 28, the current of the brook swept a downed tree that had been across the brook for years and then took down another large tree from the bank. That resulted in a part of the bank giving way.

The Hanlons left their home. There is some discrepancy over what occurred that day, with Joan Hanlon saying she was told to evacuate and the city saying its staff would not have told her to do so.

Afraid to go back into the home, the Hanlons contacted their insurance provider, only to be told they did not have a claim.

They also sought assistance from the city, but because the land around the brook is Crown land, were directed to contact the province.

They received a response from the province in the form of an email on Tuesday.

In a letter to the couple attached to the email, Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Kent said, “based on meteorological information for the time period of November 28, 2013, this event was not identified as a major storm event.

“Additionally, the limited cumulative damages to municipal and provincial government infrastructure and individual properties did not exceed the threshold for any potential activation of the federal Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA) program. Only in the case of the DFAA program being activated, or if a municipality identifies mitigation work is required in such areas to address municipal infrastructure concerns which are eligible under Municipal Capital Works programs, could we consider any assistance in such matters.

“Based on these factors, I regret to advise you that there is no applicable program to assist with private damages such as those you have identified. It is recommended that individuals deal with their private insurance companies on such matters.”

In an email to the media Wednesday afternoon, the Hanlons said, “since the City of Corner Brook and the provincial Department of Municipal Affairs has both decided that they will not help us we have decided to move back into our residence as Christmas is mere days away.”

The couple thanked the media for their help during the time they have been out of their home.

“At least you were all there to help us in our time of need.”

Organizations: Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements, Department of Municipal Affairs

Geographic location: Corner Brook, 56 Valley Road

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Recent comments

  • frost in ground; land not going anywhere
    December 19, 2013 - 09:49

    i feel for this couple and i think city should put in retaining wall this spring/summer; along with joint funding from NL gov; we help people all around world; yet forgot neglect those in our province who need little help; come on people; i can see city prov; not saying yes or no to moving in; that opens up insurance liabiltiy problems; but when frost gets in ground; harder than hobbs of hel! this brook valley aint moving again no where tell next big rain or may or june