MEDICINE HAT, AB (August 14, 2013): The provincial government should offer immediate assistance for Medicine Hat flood victims through the Disaster Recovery Program who have not yet received a final decision on whether insurance will be forthcoming, Medicine Hat MLA Blake Pedersen said today.
Reports indicate 139 “red flagged” homes outside the eligible DRP areas have so far been unable to collect insurance due to indeterminate evidence of whether damage was caused by overland flooding or sewer back up. In a letter to Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths, Pedersen suggested the government provide DRP funding to homeowners as a short term recovery solution, which would be paid back if insurance companies are required to cover the damage. “Something must be done immediately to help flood victims recover. I hope the Minister will consider this common sense proposal to help get homeowners back on their feet,” Pedersen said. Pedersen said he supports the request of City of Medicine Hat council members for a stronger provincial presence in the city to assist with flood related matters. “While the City of Medicine Hat has been a strong advocate for flood victims and has helped tremendously through these tough times, it is becoming evident that more presence and action is required from the provincial government,” Pedersen said. “Considering the shortcomings in the province’s flood response in southern Alberta, I urge you to reconsider holding a public inquiry so we are better prepared the next time disaster strikes.”