Staying put: More than half of homeowners in floodways reject offers to relocate

Close to 60 per cent of Alberta homeowners who live in provincially designated floodways have rejected the government’s offer to relocate their homes, according to new figures released Monday.

The province wrapped up its application period for disaster recovery funding for flood-affected homeowners and businesses on Nov. 30.

By deadline, close to 10,000 Albertans applied for funding, including 1,380 small businesses.

The province has so far paid out almost $175 million in preliminary disaster relief to help municipalities and First Nations start to rebuild.

According to the province, 101 homeowners who live in areas designated floodways — about 40 per cent of the total 254 homes — have expressed interest in the province’s offer to relocate.

So far, 46 offers have been accepted, at a price tag of $42 million.

The policy has come under criticism from some flood-affected homeowners inside and outside the floodway zone who question the maps it’s based on and how effective it will be if only a home here or there takes up the offer to move.

Homeowners who reject the offer won’t receive DRP support if another flood strikes down the road.

Other provincial flood statistics highlights:

— More than 9,860 Albertans have applied for funding through DRP. The province will accept applications postmarked by the November 30 deadline.

— More than 7,600 DRP applicants have had at least one on-site assessment.

— Nearly 4,000 DRP payments have been issued to applicants totalling close to $25 million.

— More than 2,100 DRP applications are on hold awaiting assessments from insurance companies.

— There are just over 1,000 people still out of their homes and living in temporary accommodation, including:

— 565 in the Saddlebrook temporary neighbourhood in High River;

— 69 in the Great Plains temporary neighbourhood in Calgary;

— 326 in relief shelters on the Siksika First Nation; and,

— 49 people in hotels or other accommodations.

— Of the 985 kilometres of provincial roads closed due to flood damage, 909 kilometres (92 per cent) have reopened.

— Three schools remain closed due to flood damage, affecting about 900 students. In High River, 42 modular classrooms are in use by about 700 students. Twelve more modular classrooms have been completed in Calgary and will soon accommodate about 200 more students.

— Over 500 submissions have been made to the Heroes of the Flood program. The deadline for nominations is December 20, 2013.


© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

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