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High River officials prepare re-entry plan for residents
A number of areas still have water in them and officials are using a staged approach for re-entry.
Colleen Schmidt, CTV Calgary
Published Tuesday, July 9, 2013 12:19PM MDT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 9, 2013 1:48PM MDT
The Town of High River is still reeling from the aftermath of severe flooding but there is finally some good news for residents as plans are now in place to allow them to start re-entering their homes.
People who live in The Hamptons and Wallaceville should go to the Welcome Centre between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Tuesday and provide officials with contact information.
A special operations team and a water rescue team are currently assessing the structural integrity of homes in the two communities and are also looking at safe travel routes through the neighbourhoods.
The assessment team has found The Willow to be safe to enter and residents of the 42 units will have access to their homes starting at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday.
Residents in the communities will be called by Emergency Operations personnel as their areas are cleared for re-entry.
The Welcome Centre will stay open to support returning residents as a ‘one stop shop’ for information and resources.
The centre is at the High River agricultural society rodeo grounds, 64137 Secondary Highway 543, corner of Highway 2A and secondary highway 543 and will now be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
People can also access computers and the Internet at the Welcome Centre.
Connector buses are running between the University of Calgary’s Hotel Alma daily at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m., with return trips from the High River Welcome Centre at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Buses from the University of Lethbridge will leave the campus at 7:30 a.m., departing the High River Welcome Centre at 5:30 p.m.
Buses for volunteers are available from two Calgary locations; Bishop O'Byrne High School (500, 333 Shawville Boulevard SE) and Mount Royal University (4825 Mount Royal Gate SW on the south side of the campus, near Lot B across from the parkade).
The buses run every two hours from 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., with the final bus leaving High River for Calgary at 8 p.m.
Local connector routes will take residents and volunteers to 23 stops in the neighbourhoods which have re-opened once they are in town.
Volunteers must report to the Welcome Centre to receive a safety briefing before they can begin.
A boil water advisory remains in effect for the Town of High River and people are being told to bring water to a boil for at least one minute before using for consumption.
Water used for bathing and laundry does not need to be boiled.
Residents in interim housing
As of Tuesday, a total of 488 High River residents are in interim housing at no charge:
- 197 relocated to the University of Lethbridge;
- 150 relocated to the University of Calgary; and
- 141 relocated to the Super 8 in High River.
Officials say they are working on temporary neighbourhoods for residents who were displaced by the flooding and construction crews are working to prepare the sites.
They say that more work needs to be done on both the High River Saddlebrook and the Great Plains site in Calgary before residents can move into the units and a new date will be announced as soon as possible.
Pre-loaded debit cards
Residents who want to apply for a pre-loaded debit card will be able to apply for one at an Alberta Works Centre.
Disaster Recovery Funding
Residents, including renters, can apply for disaster recovery funding at two locations in High River from July 6 to 16. Applications must be made in person at the Welcome Centre or the Foothills Youth Foundation, 1204-10 Street SE, between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Applicants need to bring their:
- Government-issued photo I.D.
- A list of damaged property with estimated measurements of square footage of their home.
- And, only if available, a letter from their insurance company confirming losses are uninsurable, a property tax assessment, and photos and lists of damaged property.
- Homeowners also need to bring their 2013 property tax assessment to help speed up the process.
The High River Hospital remains closed, except for urgent care services, and will re-open as soon as it is safe for patients and staff to return to the facility. If you have a medical emergency, call 911. The nearest emergency departments are:
- Oilfields General Hospital in Black Diamond
- The South Health Campus, 4448 Front Street, Calgary.
Starting on Wednesday, 24-hour urgent care services will once again be offered at the High River Hospital Emergency Department.
Urgent care is for non-life threatening emergencies, like sprains, cuts, broken bones and other issues that need same day or evening treatment.
Staff that were deployed to the Okotoks Health and Wellness Centre will return to High River and the Okotoks centre will return to regular hours.
The High River Low Risk Obstetrics Clinic will continue to operate out of the Okotoks centre until further notice.
The Welcome Centre continues to have a need for:
- Rubber boots
- Disposable coveralls
- Rubber gloves
- Second-hand tools
- Mosquito repellent
- Dollies to move furniture, appliances and other heavy items.
Officials are asking Albertans not to bring any household goods or furniture as there is no donation drop-off location in High River.