Community activists are teaming up with representatives of the Red Cross to survey residents of two Calgary neighbourhoods that flooded last year about how they're feeling as June approaches again.
People who live in Rideau Park and Roxboro will be asked in a door-to-door audit this month how they were affected last year and what they think of efforts to protect them against another flood disaster.
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Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra said a community meeting will also be held soon to discuss temporary measures that could be put in place for river communities before June.
“To do that for a permanent structure takes a lot of time. To do that for a temporary structure, it's not going to take any less time, so there's a lot of things that we need to address,” he said.
“And I think we just have to work together with our communities and deal with the inevitable stress that we're all feeling as we move into flood season.”
Area resident James Maxim, who is helping organize the audit, said it will be useful to know things such as how many people are back in their homes and how many houses were sold to the province, as well as how prepared residents feel this time around.
“We hope to gather enough information as to what the stage everybody’s at,” he said.
“We hope with this information we’ll be able to show city administration the people power and he concerns and the anxiety that people are facing as well as the dollar amounts that we’re estimating that is being done to rebuild and protect their property.”
Maxim said the lack of any immediate flood protection plans for Rideau-Roxboro is scary for residents of the area, which is adjacent to the Elbow River.
“People are very anxious. There's a lot of unknowns. They don't know if we're going to expect the same thing as last time,” he said.
Homeowner already ready
One flood victim living in Rideau-Roxboro is not waiting for the city to put up flood protection in the area.
The home has been rebuilt since June with a concrete flood wall around the property. It sits three feet above ground and extends five feet underground.
There's also a drainage system connected to underground pumps which can be operated by a generator.
Korey Davis, a project manager with Triangle Enterprises, oversaw the construction.
"We've brought in a lot of smart people on this. We brought in structural engineers, mechanical engineers, soil engineers," he said. "We've thought of every contingency that we could come up with but at the end of the day there's no guarantee."
Davis says a concrete flood wall may not be the solution for everyone. The construction depends on the soil under the house and it comes with a price tag in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
"I can't guarantee anything, especially when it comes to Mother Nature," he said.