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Province urges Manitobans to flood-proof basements

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The province is strongly encouraging homeowners to take advantage of a subsidy offered by nearly two dozen municipalities, including Winnipeg, to help reduce the risk of basement flooding.

Local Government Minister Ron Lemieux said today the government would extend and expand the Municipal Sewer Backup Subsidy Program. With the addition of Ericksdale and West St. Paul, 22 municipalities across Manitoba are now participating in the initiative that helps homeowners install sewer and home drainage protection equipment.

The provincial government is providing half of cost-shared funds to participating municipalities.

"The threat of flooding is become an all-too-frequent reality facing Manitoba families and municipalities. That’s why the provincial government is helping more families protect their homes," Lemieux said.

The government has allocated $2 million in funding for 2013 across the province, Lemieux said. Participating municipalities match the provincial contribution and provide the subsidy to qualifying homeowners.

The maximum subsidy offered by municipalities covers 60 per cent of the equipment and installation costs for individual homeowners up to a maximum of $1,000 for in-line backup valves and $2,000 for sump pumps and pits.

Some municipalities have chosen to customize their individual subsidy program to meet local needs.

Forecasters are predicting that flooding along the Red River could come close to levels reached in the major flood of 2009. Significant flooding is also predicted in western Manitoba, although not as bad as in 2011.

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