In June 2013, Alberta was hit by an intense low pressure system resulting in serious flooding across Southern Alberta. Overall the flood is estimated to have displaced 100,000 to 120,000 people in 31 communities across Alberta through mandatory evacuations. Seventy-five thousand of those were in Calgary with another 13,000 to 15,000 in High River.
The floods are estimated to have created $3-5 billion dollars’ worth of damage to homes and businesses and current estimates state that it will take 10 years to rebuild the communities in flood affected areas. To that end, the Alberta government has pledged $1 billion to begin the flood recovery efforts.
The Town of High River was among the hardest hit communities. Many parts of the town remained inaccessible and there are hundreds of residents that still have not been able to return to their homes.
The Council for Prairies (CFP) and FOCUS Canada took an active role in the recovery efforts and supported the Government of Alberta’s response with the following initiatives:
- Found alternate housing for 100 households in the City of Calgary
- Organized and managed 85 volunteers to support clean-up recovery efforts in High River
- Provided best practice research to support recovery efforts of local volunteer organizations
Where we are now:
The Councils for Canada and the Prairies along with FOCUS have also offered services and resources to governmental authorities, and over 200 volunteers registered to provide services as required by the Red Cross. Council for Prairies and FOCUS are also investigating a number of options for providing support to those remaining in critical need of assistance, particularly in Calgary and High River.