12/02/2013 01:41 EST | Updated 02/01/2014 05:59 EST

Alberta Flood Buyout: Less Than Half Of Eligible People Accept Offer

DAVE BUSTON via Getty Images
People gather in the Bowness neighbourhood looking down a water-filled street near the flooded Bow River in Calgary, Alberta, Canada June 22, 2013. Water levels have dropped slightly today. AFP PHOTO/DAVE BUSTON (Photo credit should read DAVE BUSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
CALGARY - Less than half of the eligible people in southern Alberta who live in areas hit by floods in June have accepted a government offer to buy them out.

The province says 46 of the 254 people who live in the government-designated floodway zone have agreed to move.

The cost so far to taxpayers under the program is $42 million.

Another 55 people expressed interest in the offer by Saturday's deadline.

An official with Alberta's Flood Recovery Task Force says negotiations with those people will continue in the coming months.

That means 153 people are staying put, which means they won't be eligible for disaster recovery money in the event of future floods.

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