Long-term High River disaster recovery centre now open

A disaster recovery centre in High River set up to help residents still struggling after massive flooding hit the southern Alberta town in June will now be open on a long-term basis.

Centre a hub for flood recovery information, flood victim supplies and applying for goverment assistance

Red Cross volunteers hand out the basics — baby formula, food and cleaning supplies — outside the disaster recovery centre. (Kyle Bakx/CBC)

A disaster recovery centre in High River set up to help residents after massive flooding hit the southern Alberta town in June will be open on a long-term basis. 

For the first week, the office will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. MT from Monday to Friday at the Welcome Centre at the rodeo grounds in High River. 

Hours of operation and the location of the centre will be assessed after the first week, and could change based on demand.

Officials say it will serve as a place for people to ask questions and to apply for disaster assistance funding.

"Government staff will be available to guide people through the application process step-by-step and provide specific advice and direction based on individual circumstances," said Rick Fraser, associate minister of regional recovery and reconstruction.

High River resident Brenda Shaw says the centre is needed.

"Everyone was very helpful, the process inside there today was very quick," she said.

Many still seeking information

Still some, like Rick Laycroft, say they are frustrated about the government's poor communication.

"No matter who you talk to, you have to go see someone else," he said. "And they send you to someone else, and he doesn't know so you have to go see the other guy."

Mark Murphy, a field officer with the Alberta Emergency Management Agency, says they are still getting a lot of questions.

"They are wondering what flood mitigation measures they need to put in place, how long it is going to take [and] what stage their application is in," he said.

Some residents have already received a cheque in the mail to start rebuilding.

In addition to applying in-person at the disaster recovery centre, people can apply for financial assistance by downloading an application from the province's website or by calling 1-888-671-1111. Each application needs to include the following:

  • a copy of government-issued photo ID that includes an address (such as a driver's licence).
  • a copy of most recent property tax assessment.
  • a letter from the individual's insurance company detailing any assistance being provided.