The provincial state of emergency has ended in High River but many residents are worried the town doesn't have the resources to manage a local state of emergency.
Mayor Emile Blokland made the official announcement Saturday with Rick Fraser, the associate minister of regional recovery for High River, and Ross Shapka, director of emergency operations. The province says it will still provide support and resources for High River during recovery but some say that might not be enough.
"Administration in a little town like this, they have their hands full just in the day-to-day operations of the town," said former High River councillor Floyd Langenhoff. "Any of this other stuff has to be done basically on the side."
Residents have expressed their concern over the speed of recovery efforts in the town since flooding hit on June 20.
Many say it is taking too long to pump water out of the flooded town and that temporary housing promised by the province is taking too long to get ready.
Officials had to delay the opening of the temporary housing earlier this month because of construction concerns.
The three sites, two of which will be in High River, are expected to house more than 5,000 people combined.
"We're working to get those things open as soon as we can," said Mike Leathwood, assistant deputy minister of housing with municipal affairs. "We know people need them."
The province is just starting to register people who need housing but it will be at least two weeks before anyone can move in.
Given the amount of work still facing the town, some say the decision to lift the provincial state of emergency could convey mixed messages.
"When you have the province say the provincial state of emergency is over, it gives the impression that things are normal. There's nothing normal in High River right now," said Wildrose leader Danielle Smith.
Re-entry is underway
Over the last two weeks, residents have been slowly allowed back into High River to assess their damaged homes and businesses.
The latest communities to announce re-entry processes are Sunrise, Hampton Hills and Wallaceville.
Residents of Wallaceville, with the exception of those who live in the trailer park, now have full access to their homes.
Hampton Hills residents who did not access their homes Friday will continue to be allowed to do so today, while Sunrise residents will be allowed limited access to their homes beginning Sunday at 10 a.m.
The re-entry to Sunrise means nearly 100 per cent of High River homeowners will have had access to their homes since the town was evacuated on June 20.
Volunteers collect prom dresses to donate
The evacuation meant graduation and prom plans for High River students were put on the back burner.
Students were forced to postpone their prom when the waters hit and many also lost their special dresses for the event.
Now, a University of Lethbridge student is trying to boost the spirits of High River graduating students by donating prom dresses.
"I was like, 'Girls, I'm donating my grad dress, if you guys have one that would be great to donate to the High River grads, that would be great!' Immediately all of them responded and they were right on it, they contacted all of their friends and their friends contacted their friends and it just went on," said Kelly Desjarlais.
Desjarlais and her sorority sisters have collected 140 dresses so far, and hope to collect 600 to outfit the graduating students of High River.
Their rescheduled prom is set for August 22 and any leftover dresses will be auctioned off for charity.