Bragg Creek residents air frustrations at flood meeting
Province says it is working with Bragg Creek to build a flood mitigation plan for the area
Residents of Bragg Creek had the opportunity to share their concerns about how the province is handling the community's flood recovery at an open house Thursday night.
Flood victims came armed with questions to the local community centre Thursday night and many questions centred around the buyout option being offered by the province.
- Flooded Bragg Creek residents bail out their hamlet
- Flood proved Bragg Creek needs more access, locals say
- 254 Alberta flood victims to get government home buyouts
"You have to be a realist and look at the pros and cons," said Joan MacKenzie, a Bragg Creek resident whose home is in the floodway.
The buyout option is available to 37 homeowners in the hamlet located west of Calgary.
They have until November to decide whether to relocate, but many are just trying to get more information from the province.
Several booths were set up at the meeting to address questions about the disaster recovery program (DRP) and other resources.
However, a number of residents are frustrated with the pace of recovery.
"I think people are tired," said local grocery store owner Lori Gildemeister. "I think they're tired of the bullshit. I think they want ... the money and it hasn't been happening."
However, many insist they won't leave the community — no matter what.
In an effort to prevent the devastation from happening again, the province says it is working with Bragg Creek to build a flood mitigation plan for the area. Specific details will be released next week.
$87M handed out to communities
The province says it will be providing $1 billion in financial help for flood victims, as well as implementing stricter rules around flood mitigation measures for homes in flood risk areas.
- New details released by province on flood assistance
- Flood help coming for small businesses
- Buyout of damaged homes outside of floodway possible
So far, nearly $87 million have been provided to communities affected by June's flooding — $27 million of that amount has been distributed among Turner Valley, Municipal District of Big Horn, Municipality of Crowsnest Pass, Okotoks, Black Diamond and Medicine Hat.
The province also provided $50 million to High River and $10 million to the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.
However, many Bragg Creek residents have yet to receive any money from the government.
Damage assessment is still underway in a number of other communities across southern Alberta but some residents say their patience is wearing thin.
"Our biggest frustration right now is the fact that we came right in at the beginning when the government brought in the recovery program, applied and everything, and we just feel every time we turn around. We're hitting a road block," said Bragg Creek resident Julie Handrahan, who had six feet of water in her basement.
"Bragg Creek is the forgotten community and we're one of the hardest hit."
Many are still waiting for compensation cheques from the province and say they don't understand what's taking so long.
"Our application was put on hold without even being notified," said Handrahan.