MEDICINE HAT, AB (July 19, 2013): After failing to act on previous flood mitigation reports and to learn from experiences of past flooding in Medicine Hat, now is the time for the government to act on implementing a new flood zone map for residents with a new mitigation plan within the next 60 days, Wildrose Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Drew Barnes said today.
In Medicine Hat, there remain several residents who are unable to return to their homes while buildings at both the Hazzards and Sharlands continue to face issues of structural integrity after flood damage. Barnes said there remains a lot of uncertainty for residents surrounding whether or not their property is on a floodway or a floodplain and what it means for the rebuilding process. “We’ve missed the opportunity before by failing to put in the proper infrastructure and mitigation after previous floods, such as the 1995 flood,” Barnes said. “It’s important that the government moves quickly so residents can have clarity and can rebuild their lives.” Wildrose MLA for Medicine Hat Blake Pedersen said that it’s important that the government remains focused on dealing with the issues at hand so residents can clearly know the rules going forward. “There remains too much confusion for residents after the government laid out the initial details of its compensation plan,” Pedersen said. “We need to have the flood maps updated and an infrastructure plan in place so families and businesses no longer have to guess about what the next step is.”