06/28/2013 01:11 EDT | Updated 08/28/2013 05:12 EDT

High River Flood: Alberta Government Takes Over Flood-Stricken Town

HIGH RIVER, Alta. - The Alberta government has taken over recovery and rebuilding in flood-stricken High River at the request of the town's mayor.

The province says it has assumed responsibility for emergency operations, programs and services.

Mayor Emile Blokland says flooding that hit the town a week ago has been overwhelming and it's best if the province co-ordinates efforts to get the community's 13,000 residents back into their homes.

Some people have been critical of officials for keeping them out of the town, which has been heavily damaged and doesn't have a supply of clean drinking water.

Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths says the government understands that people are frustrated, but the town's recovery and rebuilding must be done safely.

The RCMP has stepped up patrols in the community and officers have seized firearms that weren't stored properly in some homes.

Also on HuffPost

Flooding in Alberta