Calgary

$20M not enough to rebuild riverbanks, say flood victims

The province pledged millions on Friday to fix river and creek beds damaged by June's flooding, but many residents say that amount will barely scratch the surface of what's needed.

Money will be divied up across towns and cities

Efforts to repair damage caused by erosion during the floods are beginning. The province pledging millions today to fix river and creek beds. 2:09

The province pledged millions on Friday to fix river and creek beds damaged by June's flooding, but many residents say that amount will barely scratch the surface of what is needed.

The money will be divided up across several towns and cities, including along the Bow River in Calgary and hard-hit Cougar Creek in Canmore.

What hasn't been determined yet is how much money will be going to each community.

"In Black Diamond right now, we're looking at somewhere around $8 million to $10 million just to do the area that we've had within our own community," said Black Diamond Mayor Sharlene Brown.

While the news is a relief to people along eroded rivers and creeks, the amount is causing many to worry about how much work can actually be done.

The province says the money isn't meant to fix everything — but it will be a good start.

"In the preliminary conversations we've had with municipalities, we feel that $20 million is at least going to get us to where we can make further decisions of whether additional money is required or not," said Kyle Fawcett, associate minister for recovery and reconstruction for southwest Alberta.

River erosion hit hard

Many residents in the hard-hit communities have severe erosion on their properties.

What used to be riverfront land is now just river and those people say they are eager to see what the money can do for them.

"Best case scenario for me is that I wake up and this has all been a dream," said Katrina Diebel, owner of Vale's Greenhouse in Black Diamond.

Diebel says the Sheep River moved 110 feet closer and her property is now falling into the water.

"We had never expected the river to come close where it has," she said. "We had done flood protection with our own money, on our own time, in another area and, ironically, the river did not move into that area. It moved closer in an area that we hadn't expected."

While the money might be a start towards helping flood victims move forward, some say they are waiting to figure out how the money will be split up when there is so much work to be done in each community.

"$20 million is not even what High River needs to be able to do their river mitigation, let alone all the other communities," said Brown.