Homeowner raises awareness of flood damage in town

    Kristine Bonneau shows Gov. Maura Healey the location of her home on a map during the governor’s visit to North Attleborough on Sept. 12 following massive flash flooding the previous evening. Staff Photo/Adam Bass
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    More than 200 houses were damaged from flash flooding in town, and one homeowner is making it her mission to raise awareness about what it means when you can’t return home.

    Kristine Bonneau’s house on Paine Road became uninhabitable after sustaining flood damage during a heavy rainstorm the evening of Sept. 11.

    More than six feet of water entered Bonneau’s house, causing damage to her family’s laundry room, pantry, family room, storage closet and garage.

    The flooding also destroyed the heating and well system, forcing Bonneau, her husband, two children, and dog to live with relatives in town.

    The family has had to pay more than $1,000 for cleanup, and she learned her homeowner’s insurance does not cover rising ground water.

    Since then, Bonneau has been posting on social media and talking to residents about her experience to raise awareness about flood damage in an attempt to have the state government ask the federal government to provide relief for the town through FEMA.

    “So I am trying to help educate the residents with what they can do and anything I have learned so far,” Bonneau said. “Maybe we can help the town push the state to push the federal government to declare a federal disaster. This will help the residents possibly get a little bit of help.”

    Bonneau is encouraging all residents whose property was damaged by the floods to file reports as part of the town’s damage collection plan known as BigRed311. She also suggested keeping a list of  items  lost in the flood and to report a loss on their taxes if the federal government approves an emergency declaration for the area.

    “People have the right to report their damage,” Bonneau said. “We are trying to collect damage reports as a way to let our government know that relief is needed.”

    In addition to talking to residents and business owners, Bonneau met with state Rep. Adam Scanlon (D-North Attleborough), Town Council President Justin Pare, and Gov. Maura Healey.

    Bonneau showed the governor the location of her house and detailed her experience in the flood that damaged her home during a visit to the North Attleborough Police Station on Sep. 12.

    Bonneau also told Healey about how several friends and neighbors began raising funds on GoFundMe to help her and her family.

    Bonneau said it was because of the generosity of friends and strangers that she started her initiative to raise awareness about flooding and the damage it had done to the town.

    “I wanted to give back to the community,” Bonneau said. “We have a wonderful town. People on the street and businesses approached me. We have to have a little bit of patience, but if we can show that there has been so much damage, I do feel that we can make a difference.”