Getting ‘Back on Track’

After the Alberta floods of late June, the government is introducing new policies to support the decisions Albertans make when rebuilding their homes.

“We want to give Albertans with flood-damaged homes the information they need to make choices to get their lives back on track,” said Doug Griffiths, chair of the Ministerial Flood Recovery Task Force. “We also want to ensure we’re spending responsibly and doing everything we can to prevent flood damage like this from happening again.”

New policies to be implemented include funding available through the Disaster Recovery Program for homeowners to rebuild or relocate to a new location outside a flood risk area with funding available through that same program for specific mitigation infrastructure to protect buildings such as berms, water control, raising a house and more.

For homeowners living in flood fringe areas with heavily damaged homes, additional funding will be available through the Disaster Recovery Program on top of the disaster recovery assistance. Mitigation measures will be approved if they are sufficient to protect against a onein- 100 event (a one per cent chance of a flood happening in any given year).”

For homeowners living in a flood fringe who do not “implement mitigation measures” to protect against a 1-in-100 flood event, they will not be eligible for Disaster Recovery Program assistance in the event of future flooding. Legislative changes will be made this fall requiring municipalities no longer approve future development in floodways.

“These are crucial decisions for the future of our province and the safety of our citizens,” Griffiths said. “There will obviously be significant and extensive questions concerning the implementation of these policy directions. Our government has made good progress in flood-mapping municipalities most prone to flooding and that work continues.”

These new policy directions in Alberta align themselves with similar flood assistance programs in Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. A government release said the changes will help the long term viability and sustainability of communities as well as protect Albertans from the cost of future flood damages.

“No eligible homeowner with flood damage will go without financial support,” said Griffiths. “But when we’re using Albertans’ tax dollars, we need to empower those receiving funds to make responsible choices. That’s what Albertans expect.”

For more information and to see available flood mapping, visit www.alberta.ca or call 1-800-310-4455.

The Alberta Government has created new flood-mapping standards in the wake of recent floods, which devastated the province.

The maps are broken down into floodways, where flows are deepest and most destructive; flood fringe, where water is generally shallower and flows more slowly than in the floodway; overland flow and some other areas still under review.

“Flood hazard areas and design flood levels are based on a design flood under encroachment conditions,” said the province’s website. “The current design flood standard in Alberta is the 100-year flood, determined when a flood hazard study is undertaken. Encroachment conditions assume a future scenario when the flood fringe is fully developed.”

During the July 16 Council meeting, it was announced the City of Calgary and other municipalities had not been consulted on the new flood policies announced by the province.

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