The RCMP say they’re now complete with their door to door searches in High River, the community south of Calgary that was hit hard in last week’s flooding.

They say that of the 3,337 homes they checked, they found 303 people and several pets that defied an evacuation order and stayed behind in their homes.

Rescuers also say they weren’t able to get to a handful of homes due to the high level of water surrounding them.

In the meantime, residents of High River are still frustrated that they haven’t been allowed back into their homes to assess the damage from the flooding.

Workers insist that it is too dangerous to go back just yet.

Right now, a berm is being constructed at the north side of town and once that’s done, crews will begin to pump stagnant water out of residential areas so people will eventually be able to return home.

Mayor Emile Blokland said on Monday that they are now going through the town to assess each property and rate the damage to the home to see what they’re facing in terms of damage.

Infrastructure is an issue in the community right now, and many roads are damaged or impassable in the community.

The town’s sewage treatment plant is also still offline, so no one will be allowed to return home due to the extreme health risk.

The community remains under a boil water advisory.

Blokland said the community is working on a plan to eventually re-enter the town. “As we have more information on that, we will be able to present that to all our folks that are in our evacuation centres, or have billets, or found hotel rooms, and we’ll be giving that to you as soon as possible.”

Chief of Operations Brian Cornforth says they’ll be soon bringing in large pumps to take the water out of the flooded areas. “That flooding water will be reduced. We’ll go into the homes and do some searching and make sure they’re structurally sound.”

There are currently 170 police officers patrolling the Town of High River and manning checkpoints, ensuring the security of the town.

Tensions remain high in the community, however. A 24-year-old man was arrested when he attempted to gain entry into High River by brandishing a knife at security personnel. They suspect the man was under the influence of alcohol.

The evacuation order for High River was implemented on June 20.

For those concerned about friends or relatives in High River, they are invited to call the Emergency Evacuation Centres:

  • Blackie Rink - 403-351-1076
  • Nanton Rec Plex - 403-646-2961