K-W in brief: October 31, 2012

Storm effects from Hurricane Sandy reach Waterloo Region
The impacts of Hurricane Sandy reached Waterloo Region on Monday night. Winds were recorded at speeds between 60 km/h and 90 km/h, which was sufficient to cause some damage to some trees and hydro lines in the area. Approximately 11,000 customers of Waterloo North Hyrdo lost power in the early evening in Waterloo, with around 5,000 people in the west end of the city still in the dark by 9:00 p.m. Heavy rain continued throughout the evening, but no other serious damage was found. Regional residents have been cautioned to stay away from the banks of rivers and streams, particularly the Gran River, as water levels will cause higher flows of water. It is also recommended that people have an emergency kit on hand, containing items such as flashlights, blankets and first aid supplies.

Waterloo Region Family and Children’s Services facing cuts
Lack of provincial funding has led to a $2.5 million deficit in Waterloo Region’s Family and Children’s Services, according to some local politicians and agency representatives. Cuts to the program to save money will involve eliminating jobs and some services. As well, an announcement last month indicated that two group homes will be closed. The province granted the agency $47.3 million, which was $2.5 million less than what was requested, and a decrease from the previous year. Last year, the organization had $868,000 in debt, which has now increased. The agency provides care and services to around 5,000 children. Some programs will have to run with decreased staff or shut down in order to service the debt.
–Compiled by Lindsay Purchase

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