Session addresses concerns for Bragg Creek residents
Flood 2013: Provincial officials on hand to discuss Disaster Recovery Program
By: By Carmen Solana-Martin
| Posted: Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013 11:23 am
Residents who attended a provincial flood information session in Bragg Creek on Sept. 12 said they were pleased with the responses they received from government officials in regards to their questions on disaster relief.
Bragg Creek resident Elizabeth Burns’ basement was damaged by overland flooding on June 20 and she said after her insurance company denied her claim she applied for financial assistance from the Disaster Recovery Program (DRP), but she has not yet been paid.
To clarify confusion regarding her DRP claim Burns said she attended the session to speak directly with Alberta Emergency Management Agency Director of Field and Recovery Operations Jim Cornish, who she met at the last provincial information session in Bragg Creek in July.
After showing Cornish photos of the overland flood damage on her property Burns said he told her he would direct her case file to the correct person for resolution.
Response was quick as the following day, Burns received a call from a DRP representative who said she would receive DRP funds to repair her crawlspace.
“There was confusion in my DRP file and after talking with Jim Cornish the confusion was cleared up,” said Burns. “They (provincial representatives) talked to everyone individually and it was amazing.
“People in the government have worked tirelessly to help flood affected residents and they are exhausted,” she added. “After the flood, people were overwhelmed and now it’s getting to the point where things are starting to make sense.”
Bragg Creek resident Joan MacKenzie, who lives on the Elbow River on River Drive North, said she attended the session to see if there was any new information about flood maps, financial relief and buyouts.
“I am still weighing my options,” said MacKenzie. “I used to love the sound of the river and I don’t anymore,” she said, adding anytime it rains she wonders if the river will rise and flood her property.
At the session MacKenzie spoke with Martin Foy, an executive director at Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, who answered her questions about flood mapping.
“He was up front and honest and gave me the information I was looking for,” she said.
Flood Recovery Task Force spokesperson Keltie MacPherson said the session, held at the Bragg Creek Community Centre on Sept. 12, was set up so provincial program experts could speak to flood affected residents directly, especially regarding question on the DRP.
Provincial representatives were set up at various booths to answer questions and provide information to residents about flood mapping, building codes, mental heath support, rebuilding and flood mitigation.
According to Rocky View County Division 1 Coun. Liz Breakey a flood relief announcement is coming soon for the hamlet regarding water and wastewater servicing.
Rocky View County (RVC) completed building water and wastewater treatment plants in Bragg Creek in 2011, and the hamlet’s residents are not yet connected to water servicing.
A number of water wells and septic fields in the hamlet were impacted by the flood said Kyle Fawcett, Associate Minister for Recovery and Reconstruction of southwest Alberta.
“We’re working with the municipality about not just rebuilding those (systems) but what a long-term solution will look like,” said Fawcett.
Fawcett added the Province wants to ensure any public infrastructure rebuilding they do is done in a way that can withstand future flooding.
“The municipality has plans to get everybody eventually on this system so we are looking at what the opportunities are to rebuild in a way that allows us to potentially make the community more resilient by accelerating the MD’s plans, and I think its worth noting that this has been a result of the flood,” said Fawcett. “The MD (Rocky View County) has been very clear that their municipal water and wastewater system is a priority, particularly in light of the flood damage to septic fields and water wells on individual properties. Our government recognizes that there is value in seeing this through, so that this community can have a safe, secure water supply and people can make effective decisions as they rebuild from the flood.”