Dozens of flood-damaged homes abandoned in High River
Abandoned homes have been deemed unfit for human habitation
Dozens of flood-damaged homes have been abandoned in High River and officials are trying to determine what to do with the homes.
The abandoned homes are among the 400 in the town that have been deemed unfit for human habitation. While the company overseeing repairs has made contact with most of the other homeowners, they're still struggling to reach the owners of these properties.
"Right now there remains dozens of homes for which we haven't had any contact from the homeowner," said Jeff Gaulin, vice-president of communications at Tervita. "We're hoping the community can reach out to people who've been away for an extended period of time, make contact with them and help us to get those homes assessed."
The company says it is possible the homeowners don't even know their home has been deemed uninhabitable.
However, the company can't enter the homes to assess the damage until making contact with the owners.
Those delays are putting recovery efforts behind schedule and are frustrating those trying to rebuild, Gaulin said.
Tervita can't say what will happen to the properties where the owners can't be reached.
It says it will work with public health officials to determine the next step.
In the meantime, Gaulin says he hopes people in the community will help contact the homeowners so a rebuilding plan can be proposed.
"We're actively remediating about 50 homes right now so before Labour Day some people will be able to move back into their homes," he said.
"We'd like to give that opportunity to every resident who's been impacted in the flood here in High River and as soon as people can give us permission to go in, to assess their homes, we can help them get back to normal as soon as possible."