Flooding, May 10-12, 2018. (Kathleen Saylors/Grand Forks Gazette) Flooding in Grand Forks, B.C. on May 12, 2018. (Kathleen Saylors/Grand Forks Gazette)

One year later: $5.2M used to help Grand Forks families after devastating floods

Grand Forks is still on the mend after flooding devastated the region

A number of families and businesses who saw the worst of water damage are still receiving help from the Canadian Red Cross, one year since heavy flooding devastated areas of Grand Forks.

The Red Cross said in an update Tuesday that it has so far used $5.2 million of the $7.2 million in funding it received through donations and the B.C. government.

The funds were first used to manage two shelters and two reception centres as the floods forced 2,500 homes to be evacuated across the Regional District of Kootenay-Boundary.

“We’ve always been blown away by the strength of this community,” said Jen Allen, a senior official with the Red Cross emergency management program in B.C. and Yukon.

In early May 2018, Grand Forks residents were dealt the most severe flooding the region had seen since 1948, sparking a state of emergency which would last more than a month.

WATCH: 5 things to know about B.C. Floods 2018

PHOTOS: Grand Forks sees most severe flooding since 1948

Since then, further recovery has included giving financial assistance to 440 households, supporting 100 eligible small businesses and not-for-profits get back on their feet, as well as 1,500 one-on-one meetings with people in need of support post-floods. There were a further 318 referrals for mental health and well-being support.

“There’s a recognition that recovery is a longterm process, and as that moves along, different needs are emerging,” Allen said, noting that many downtown businesses are still closed.

The next phase of the recovery will be more support for local small businesses that were impacted by the flood. Operators were given until March 31 to apply for up to $18,500 to help them re-open and rebuild. Allen said that businesses should hear back about their grant applications over the next few months.

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