ALBERTA

Wildrose Want New Alberta Flood Map, Says Victims Must Know Where To Rebuild

07/19/2013 05:31 EDT | Updated 09/18/2013 05:12 EDT
HIGH RIVER, Alta. - Alberta's official Opposition wants the government to draw up a new flood-zone map and mitigation plan within 60 days for communities affected by last month's high water.

The Wildrose party says flood victims in Calgary, High River, Canmore, Bragg Creek and Medicine Hat need to know where they stand so they can decide where to rebuild homes and businesses.

The Wildrose says many people remain confused about which properties are considered to be in floodplains.

The party also says out-of-date maps don't account for measures that could be taken to lessen risks and minimize the number of people who might have to relocate.

The Wildrose has suggested engineers be hired to determine possible mitigation methods and update which areas are actual floodplains

Premier Alison Redford has said she understands people are frustrated, but the matter is complicated and current maps do show how people may be affected.

Opposition Leader Danielle Smith says a meeting in High River on Thursday night showed just how frustrated and angry many High River residents are.

“We should have been working on redrawing flood-zone maps, including a flood mitigation infrastructure plan, since flooding hit southern Alberta almost one month ago," she said in a release Friday

"We simply cannot delay any longer. The government needs to make this a priority."

Added her finance critic: “Albertans need to know what zones will be safe and which ones won’t be safe, and so far the government has only managed to cause confusion for people across the province," said Rob Anderson.

"The government needs to get this done in the next 60 days max, so Albertans can begin rebuilding safely and responsibly.”

In other flood-related news, Finance Minister Doug Horner said he plans to meet with financial institutions on Monday to finalize a plan to help small business owners hurt by the disaster.

He said his goal is to give businesses "every chance" to make a quick recovery and get back on their feet.

Initial estimates indicate up to 1,500 small businesses were directly damaged by the floods along with about 800 not-for-profit, agricultural enterprises and First Nations businesses.

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