More than 220 Red Deer homeowners are still waiting to hear whether the provincial government will help pay for uninsured property damage caused by flooding in June.
As the year winds down, the City of Red Deer is also still waiting for the government’s response.
Engineering services manager Konrad Dunbar said he’s occasionally checked in with the province to get an update on the situation — only to be told there’s no update yet.
“They tell us, ‘You have done everything you can do as a city,’ now we have to wait until they finish their review.”
Although the City of Red Deer put out several public calls for impacted homeowners to get on an application list for the Government of Alberta’s Disaster Recovery Program, Dunbar said, “We are really the middle man in this.”
The province holds the purse strings and will have to determine how much money will be allocated and how it will be distributed, he added.
Red Deer city officials submitted an application on behalf of local residents and property owners for provincial disaster relief in July after excessive June rainfall led to a lot of basements being flooded.
While the City of Red Deer previously asked the province to help replace trees lost in the 2017 windstorm, no provincial money was forthcoming that time.
Dunbar hopes to get approved for relief funding this time as other Alberta municipalities received financial assistance for their homeowners after the flooding of 2013 — so a precedent has been set.
Flood damage from sewer back-ups is covered by household insurance policies. But most private policies do not cover overland flooding — and it’s for these uninsured costs that the city is seeking provincial help for homeowners.
Dunbar said a recent government cabinet shuffle, as well as a new provincial premier, likely delayed the application process and review.
He doesn’t know whether any news will come by the end of the year but predicted getting provincial funding will be a “pretty big deal” for many local residents if and when it’s approved.
While the city had anticipated hearing from about 50 people who had incurred uninsured flood damage, at least 220 people ended up providing the needed information and photos to get on the list for provincial disaster relief.