Fort McMurray flood caused $228M in insured damages

Disaster relief funding coming for northern Alberta residents affected by floods
WATCH ABOVE: (May 9) Fort McMurray residents devastated by flooding are reacting to news they will get money to rebuild. Nicole Stillger reports.

This year’s spring flooding in Fort McMurray, Alta., caused over $228 million in insured damages, according to numbers released Monday by the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

Close to 13,000 people had to leave their homes in late April, when an ice jam formed on the Athabasca River and caused water levels to rise.

Initial surveys showed that over 1,200 structures were damaged in the flood.

1,200+ structures damaged in Fort McMurray flooding
1,200+ structures damaged in Fort McMurray flooding

“Our thoughts are with the people of Fort McMurray who have been impacted by these floods,” Celyeste Power, the western vice president for IBC, said in a Monday news release.

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The government of Alberta has launched several financial support programs for those affected by the floods: the first being an emergency funding program for a one-time payment of $1,250 for adults and $500 for children. That program is still open to applications until June 5.

The province also launched a disaster relief program, which offers those with uninsured damages, both businesses and residents, the option to apply for a portion of $147 million in funding it announced in early May.

Individuals who suffered losses from the floods that aren’t covered by their insurance can apply online until Aug. 5 for that financial relief.

READ MORE: Province announces $147M in disaster funding for northern Alberta residents affected by floods

The IBC said it continues to work with “all levels” of government to push for a national action plan for flooding and flood insurance.

Currently, 13 insurers offer overland flood coverage in Alberta, but it’s an add-on to policies and only about half of Albertans have actually opted in, according to Power.

READ MORE: As Fort McMurray residents face massive cleanup, insurance issues linger for many

The option is further complicated for those who live on flood plains or in high-risk areas.

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“Flood insurance there is usually much more limited or restricted because the likelihood of flood is so much higher,” Power said on May 10. “The policy would be unaffordable.”

–With files from The Canadian Press