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Wood Buffalo mayor to ask province, feds for flood relief: ‘We definitely need help’

Click to play video 'Fort McMurray boil water advisory in place until September' Fort McMurray boil water advisory in place until September
WATCH ABOVE: Residents are returning home in Fort McMurray but the municipality says the boil water advisory could be in place until September. Breanna Karstens-Smith reports. – May 4, 2020

Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo Mayor Don Scott says he believes there is at least $100 million in damage to his region following devastating flooding, and officials and residents will need government help cleaning up.

The final evacuation order for the Fort Murray area was lifted Sunday night following the week-long natural disaster.

“We are fully in recovery phase,” said director of emergency management, Scott Davis.

READ MORE: Fort McMurray cleans up from flood on anniversary of 2016 wildfire evacuation

Power has been restored to about 400 homes and ATCO said it had 60 crews working to restore gas, which could still take some time.

The region remains under a double state of emergency with the second in place because of COVID-19.

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Applications for provincial Emergency Evacuation Payments for evacuees opened Monday.

Those who were forced from their homes were told they would receive $1,250 per adult and $500 per minor.

READ MORE: Jason Kenney announces emergency funding for northern Alberta flood evacuees

Applicants who spoke to Global News said the application form stated they would only qualify if they were out of their homes for more than a week. Most evacuation orders were lifted less than six days after they were issued.

On Monday afternoon, the province said it would be changing the information on the form and that every person who was under mandatory evacuation order would receive the payment.

“I’m still going to push for it because the premier was with us, he saw the devastation, he announced it later as something that would support the residents of this region,” Scott said.

“Irrespective of some bureaucratic nonsense, I believe it’s absolutely necessary for the people of this region to get it.”

Scott said he would also be pushing for Disaster Recovery Program funding from the province, adding Premier [Jason] Kenney indicated it was likely the regional municipality would qualify.
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Click to play video 'Mental health impacts of overcoming a natural disaster' Mental health impacts of overcoming a natural disaster
Mental health impacts of overcoming a natural disaster – May 4, 2020

The funding likely wouldn’t cover home contents, but Scott said he would ask the federal funding to pitch in a “top up” the program.

An estimated 1,230 structures were damaged at the end of April when a massive ice jam caused flooding in both the Athabasca and Clearwater rivers.

READ MORE: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney tours flooded Fort McMurray, offers support

As of Sunday night, the province estimated 3,680 people were not able to return home because of damage.

On Monday it was announced the region would be under a boil water advisory, which could be in effect until September.