Many High River flood victims want out, Wildrose leader hears
Danielle Smith hosts town hall meeting for residents of flood-devastated Hampton Hills area
Most of the residents of the High River neighbourhood hit worst by last month’s flooding want to be bought-out, they told their local MLA Danielle Smith at a town hall on Thursday night.
The Wildrose Party leader hosted the event for people who live in Hampton Hills, where the flood left homes submerged for more than three weeks.
Most residents are still not able to get into the area because of health concerns.
The vast majority of the crowd raised their hands when Smith asked how many of them want the government to buy their badly damaged homes so that they can move.
However, according to the provincial government’s flood zone maps, Hampton Hills is not in a flood zone, meaning homeowners are free to rebuild there.
And the government has made a $45-million arrangement with Calgary-based Tervita, which specializes in disaster remediation, to spearhead the town’s cleanup.
But as far as Maureen Moncrieff is concerned, the Hampton Hills community is too far gone for that, she said.
"They may as well bulldoze. I don't want my son living there, my grandkids living there, my pets living there... it's filth."
Don Sanford, president of Landsdowne Equity Ventures Ltd., the company that developed the neighbourhood, told homeowners he wants the province to mitigate the area so that a similar disaster doesn’t happen again.
"We are not very happy, as you are, with having invested the amount of money here we have … to find that we have a flood that none of us could have imagined."
There are still 97 serviced lots in the subdivision the company would like to build houses on, Sanford said.
"That would allow people who have been living in homes that have been destroyed, to have a transition into a permanent home…," he said.