Province to help Albertans recover from June floods

Floodwaters are seen in Whitecourt, Alta., on June 20, 2023. Supplied to Global News

The Alberta government is helping residents and business owners in several communities that were battered by flooding in June.

Applications can now be submitted for disaster financial assistance to help with uninsurable costs related to flood damage to homes and property.

Over the span of one week in June, the communities of Edson, Whitecourt, Yellowhead County and Woodlands County experienced severe flooding due to heavy rainfall and spring runoff.

Click to play video: 'Flooding causes evacuations, alerts in northern Alberta'
Flooding causes evacuations, alerts in northern Alberta

The province has made up to $68 million in funding available through the province’s Disaster Recovery Program which helps residents, businesses and communities rebuild following an ‘extraordinary disaster,’ which is classified as a one-in-25-year precipitation level in an urban area or a one-in-100-year stream flow for watercourses, as was experienced in these communities. Costs are split 90-10 between the Government of Alberta and applicants.

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Some of the eligible expenses include food and transportation, cleanup costs including repairs and damage to homes.

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Municipalities have already applied for and been approved for funding.

“This past hazard season was among the worst in Alberta’s history, as a provincewide state of emergency was declared for the first time in Alberta’s history. We know the damage from the flooding this spring has been destructive for these communities,” said Mike Ellis, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Services. “Alberta’s government is here to provide support with disaster financial assistance that will provide some relief.”

Homeowners, small business owners, tenants, landlords, not-for-profit institutions or agricultural operations within the Town of Edson, Town of Whitecourt, Yellowhead County and Woodlands County have until Feb. 26, 2024, to submit their Disaster Recovery Program applications.

“With this financial support, the Town of Edson will have the ability to further address critical storm and sanitary sewer repairs that are needed,” said Kevin Zahara, mayor of Edson.

Municipalities could apply for coverage for uninsurable damages to infrastructure and public property and costs incurred during emergency operations like reception centre accommodation. The province said the financial assistance is also meant to help communities recoup the costs associated with the disaster response that were not covered by insurance.

Click to play video: 'Whitecourt issues state of local emergency as nearby rivers flood'
Whitecourt issues state of local emergency as nearby rivers flood

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