Flooded Alta. farms eligible for recovery funding

Alberta farms hit with uninsurable losses in this summer’s floods can get in on one of five regional recovery programs to help repair damages.

The provincial government on Monday pledged up to $34.2 million to help Alberta residents, businesses, farms and municipalities recover otherwise uninsurable losses due to floods and heavy rainfall events.

The funding will flow through the Alberta Emergency Management Agency into five regional disaster recovery programs, for:

  • seven communities damaged by flooding in the province’s south, in and around Fort Macleod and Taber, from June 5 to 8 (up to $12.1 million);
  • 14 northern communities near and including Falher and Slave Lake damaged due to flooding June 25 to 29 ($5.7 million);
  • damage from flooding caused by rains July 7-10 in the province’s northwest, near and including Whitecourt plus several towns, counties and First Nations hit in the June 25-29 floods ($11.5 million);
  • damage from heavy rains in parts of central Alberta July 11-12 including Lacombe, Eckville, and the counties of Lacombe and Ponoka ($3.5 million); and
  • damage in Calgary due to flooding from a severe rainstorm Aug. 5 ($1.4 million).

A provincial disaster recovery program is meant to provide financial assistance for residents, small businesses and farmers to help return uninsurable property loss to “pre-disaster functional condition.”

A “significant portion” of the funding will back municipalities for infrastructure repairs, emergency operations and clean-up costs, the province said Monday.

The province advised affected residents and business owners to first ask their insurance companies for letters outlining the uninsurable damage to their property. Photographs of flooding damage should also be taken.

While the province is setting up disaster recovery registration centres, affected residents are advised to contact their local municipalities or the program office at 1-888-671-1111 for more information.

Funding for farmers through this program comes in addition to federal/provincial support through an AgriRecovery program announced last month, to provide up to $30 per eligible acre affected by excess moisture.

Another $450,000 for two disaster recovery programs will be available to Red Deer County, the County of Vermilion River and the Municipal District of Wainwright to help cover “significant” clean-up and emergency operations costs following windstorms in July.

Farmers in those communities who experienced damage and losses during those storms aren’t eligible for those two recovery funds and should instead contact their insurance companies, as wind damage is insurable, the province said.

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