Many frustrated over wait times for preloaded debit cards
Hundreds, including elderly, lined up for hours in Nanton
There is growing frustration over the wait times for preloaded debit cards handed out in Nanton Thursday morning.
Hundreds, including many elderly people, lined up for hours in the heat to get the cards. That has some calling for a priority lineup for the elderly and people in ill health.
"They've been fretting for a week and now they're in a lineup," said Janine Labossiere, whose father is in his 70s and suffers from Parkinson's disease. She says he was among those waiting for hours for a card.
"This is not the way we treat our old people. We don't do this," she said.
Right now, there is a priority handout for the cards — but it is to make sure people from High River receive them first.
The debit cards give adults $1,250 and children $500.
Vulcan and Nanton are the first locations where people can apply for them, although priority will still be given to those from High River.
High River prepares re-entry plan
High River is close to completing plans for a staged re-entry to the town after it was devastated by floods last week.
Officials announced Thursday that they are putting the finishing touches on a plan that would set the re-entry criteria for residents of the community. The plan could be announced as soon as tomorrow.
The plan would likely see groups or sections of neighbourhoods allowed to return to their homes once the criteria are met.
As well, High River Mayor Emile Blokland announced the city has coordinated short-term housing in apartment-stye residences on the University of Lethbridge campus.
These come in one-, two- and three-bedroom styles for are available for those who want to relocate from the reception centres in Nanton, Okotoks and Blackie.
The relocation is voluntary and transportation will be provided.
Mayor Blokland also acknowledged the contributions of emergency operations teams and thanked the neighbouring communities of Nanton, Okotoks and Blackie for housing High River residents over the last week.