Northeast residents continue to call on province for help weeks after massive hailstorm
CALGARY -- Residents of northeast Calgary are seeking provincial support in the wake of a spring hailstorm that damaged thousands of homes.
Homeowners in the communities of Taradale, Skyview Ranch, Redstone and Saddletowne created their own Hailstorm Action Committee (HAC), calling on Alberta’s UCP government for financial aid.
The group held a peaceful demonstration in front of McDougall Centre Tuesday morning advocating for $5,000 interest free loans for residents and assurance that their insurance premiums won’t spike as a result of the storm.
"It’s been eight weeks since the worst hailstorm in Canadian history hit our community and people’s homes and cars are in terrible shape," said HAC spokesperson Khalil Karbani.
"Victims are under enormous stress and as they cope with economic pain, the pandemic, and back-to-school worries, the premier dismisses us by telling us to talk to our insurance companies."
The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) ranks the June 13 hailstorm as the fourth costliest natural disaster in Canadian history, triggering more than 70,000 claims and causing an estimated $1.2 billion in damages. Early estimations from IBC suggest the entirety of the damage from the storm could take up to a full year to fix.
The siding on the majority of homes in the affected communities remains torn to shreds. Some homes have had to deal with the unfortunate situation of broken windows that have yet to be replaced and are still boarded up.
Karbani says representatives from 30 communities have been canvassing the hardest hit areas and providing information on how to help.
"Fall is coming and people are vulnerable," he said. "We are asking the premier for help not a handout."
The group has led a convoy of homeowners to the Alberta legislature in late July to rally for aid.
In June, Premier Kenney announced his government would offer disaster funding for uninsurable losses to properties that sustained overland flooding damage, but that relief won’t cover hail, sewer backups or insurance deductibles.