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Tornado Relief Funding

The Municipality of Tweed Emergency Management Group met on March 28, 2023 at 9:00 am to discuss the funding announcement made March 27, 2023 by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF). The MNRF has awarded the Municipality $1,203,801.74 as part of the Ontario Supporting Small Communities impacted by extreme weather.
The funding received is for debris cleanup to prevent flood and fire on non-Crown land, shoreline cleanup on Crown land as well as supporting forest regeneration efforts on non-Crown lands due to the derecho on May 21, 2022 and the EF-2 tornado on July 24, 2022.
The Emergency Management Group has identified the following priorities to reduce the risks of this region due specifically to the tornado:
• Removing debris from rivers, reducing flooding risks;
• Removing debris from the 30-metre radius surrounding homes and structures, reducing fire risks which is in accordance with Ontario Fire Smart Program;
• Removing debris from road side ditches; and
• Reforestation and planting along the 15-metre riverbank setbacks, reducing erosion concerns.
At this time, no funding has been received to cover costs already incurred by property owners and the Municipality.
All of these priorities are important, however, each will be scheduled based on the weather specific conditions required for each activity to minimize negative impacts to shorelines and home owner properties.
More details relating to the logistics of these activities as well as an open-house meeting on the Ontario Fire Smart Program will be forthcoming in the next coming weeks. The Municipality and the Emergency Management Group will maintain communication through news releases, Municipal website and social media channels as well as mailings for those directly impacted. Please note that one of these communication packages will include an agreement for participating property owners to sign granting permission for the Municipality’s hired contractors to access private properties where permitted and required.
In addition, the Municipality has entered into an expanded 5-year agreement with the MNRF for forest fire coverage. This agreement expansion covers the standard fire season (April to October) with aerial fire suppressant planes also known as water bombers for private properties in the affected region. This agreement also provides necessary ground coverage by airlifted fire fighters into the middle of the forests for precision fire protection. Our local Municipal Fire Department will continue to provide fire coverage within 100 feet of the centre line of the road.
The safety of all residents is the Municipality’s priority and we will continue to update residents as new information is received. Furthermore, we are in the process of creating a “Tornado Bin” on our website which will contain all information and correspondence related to the EF-2 July 24, 2022 tornado.