ALBERTA

High River Residents Question Pace Of Flood Cleanup

07/12/2013 09:34 EDT | Updated 09/11/2013 05:12 EDT
High River residents, some still unable to access their homes and neighbourhoods, are questioning why cleanup isn’t going faster.

The provincial state of emergency ends today, weeks after the southern Alberta town was hit by floods June 20.

A municipal state of emergency, will continue, but many say that isn’t enough.

Former town councillor Floyd Langenhoff said managing flood prevention could be too much for the municipality to handle itself.

“Administration in a little town like this, they have their hands full just in the day-to-day operations of the town," he said. "Any of this other stuff has to be done basically on the side. What we need here, I believe, is a group of people or council that can give direction to get this stuff done.”

Not the 1st time

Standing on a community golf green, Langenhoff said the golf course held back water, flooding nearby homes.

A problem made worse, he said, because the same thing happened in 2005.

"It blocks a lot of the water and backs it up, further up into the northwest than it should be,” said Langenhoff.

“It's still here, because nobody's done anything about it.”

Province's role

But the blame doesn’t just rest with the municipality, he said. Bureaucracy at the provincial level has prevented the necessary steps to prevent flooding in the area, said Langenhoff.

He adds the province isn't doing enough to pump out the flood water.

“Has anybody looked at the fact that we could maybe run the water back west and back into the river? That way doubling our amount of water,” said Langenhoff.

Town Coun. Jamie Kinghorn, however, said everything that can be done is being done.

“One-hundred-thousand gallons per minute we're pumping out of that lake. They [the province] have done everything they possibly can,” said Kinghorn.

Langenhoff still thinks officials aren’t listening. He said residents want to help with cleanup and prevention but aren’t being allowed.

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