The Genesis Centre in northeast Calgary was a popular spot on Saturday for people starting the rebuilding process following last week’s devastating hail storm.
The city has launched a community support centre in the parking lot, to offer tips for homeowners dealing with damage on hiring licensed contractors and to answer questions about building permits and where to dispose of damaged materials.
For many people left with boarded-up windows and smashed windshields, it’s hard to know where to start when it comes to rebuilding in northeast Calgary.
“It is going to be a long haul trying to get the work done. It’s an emotional thing because you get up every morning, and your house is destroyed,” said Pamela Glover.
Glover and her husband came to the city’s community support centre on Saturday.
Both their vehicles and many of their windows were destroyed. Their home was also damaged by hail in 2016.
“It’s been staggering. Every four years you can almost put it on your calendar there’s going to be another hail storm. So I’m thinking, OK now we’re looking at 2024, and every time is getting worse,” said Dwane Glover.
The city set up around 30 bins in the neighbourhoods hit hardest by the storm. The bins are clearly labelled with signs stating they are for hail damage material only, but that didn’t stop people ditching random junk outside the bins.
“Our waste and recycling folks will take care of those bins and clean it up so we don’t have an issue around the bins, but this is really about recovery from the storm, so please limit what goes into those bins to damage that has resulted from the storm,” said Emergency Management Agency deputy chief Susan Henry.
City officials are estimating the tennis-ball-sized hail caused over $1 billion in damage.
Ward 5 Coun. George Chahal says provincial officials are still analyzing data to determine if the damage qualifies for the Disaster Recovery Program.
“We have a lot of challenges and I think we need other orders of government to take a really good look at this and provide further financial supports to the residents,” Chahal said on Saturday.
Henry said so far, there are 20,000 home, auto and business claims to the Insurance Bureau of Canada and she expects that number to increase.