10/01/2013 01:24 EDT | Updated 12/01/2013 05:12 EST

AMEC, AECOM Flood Mitigation: Alberta Government Hires 2 Engineering Firms To Prevent Future Disasters

EDMONTON - Alberta has hired two engineering companies to help it find ways to protect people from future devastating floods.

The firms AMEC and AECOM were chosen following a request for proposals by the government.

Details of the contracts, including the cost and when the companies will make their reports, were not released.

Alberta officials have said the projects could include dams, dikes, berms and water diversions.

Officials say the government will ask experts and the public for more ideas at a flood mitigation symposium Friday in Calgary.

The engineering firms would then help the government make a short list of the best ideas and assess their viability.

"We know it is impossible to prevent floods from happening; however there's a lot we can do to lessen the impact these events have on Alberta's communities," Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths said Tuesday in a release.

"This is a next step in our ongoing work to find the best ways to protect Albertans when flood waters threaten our homes in the future."

The province estimates more than 100,000 people in 30 communities were affected by the floods, including more than 40,000 people who were forced from their homes.

More than 2,000 people are still out of their homes, including almost 1,300 living in temporary neighbourhoods in High River and Siksika.

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