Families join makeshift camp for High River flood victims

The population of the temporary community of Saddlebrook set up for flood victims north of High River continues to grow.

Alcohol not permitted in common areas of new community north of High River

High River families left homeless by flooding in June are trying to settle into their new homes. 2:31

The temporary community of Saddlebrook set up for flood victims north of High River continues to grow.

Up to 60 families moved into the area today, bringing the population to roughly 400 people.

"This is a positive step forward for these families who have been out of their homes for so long," said Rick Fraser, the associate minister in charge of flood recovery in the area, in a release.  

"Moving into the Saddlebrook neighbourhood will give them some stability and a sense of community while they rebuild their homes and make decisions about the future."

The camp can eventually hold up to 1,200 people whose homes were so badly damaged by June's raging floodwaters that they were not allowed to return.

Dozens of families displaced by the flood are now settling into their makeshift homes.

Rent covered for 90 days

The family units have two beds, or a double bed, bunk bed or built-in crib depending on family needs. There is a private washroom and shower, and a furnace and hot water tank along with storage, a desk and television.

There are 215 trailers making up the neighbourhood, including the family suites and dorm-style rooms for single people, as well as restaurants, recreation halls, housekeeping, onsite medical support and fitness facilities.

Provincial officials promise it will feel more like a neighbourhood with grass, trees and even a playground.

There is no curfew, but people living in the temporary community are not allowed to drink alcohol in the common areas.

"It sounds cut and dry to some people but there's a lot of people going through an emotional time and there are mental health issues that we need to address in this camp and alcohol is a depressant and as you know it is not good for anyone going through an emotional state," said Fraser.

The province says it will cover the cost of rent for flood victims for the first 90 days. Officials have said in the past that the temporary community is costing the province $150 per person per day.