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Alberta Municipal Affairs/Alberta Emergency Management Agency (AEMA), responded to the MD of Bighorn's June 22, 2020 Disaster Recovery Program (DRP) application for financial assistance for thegroundwater flooding in east Exshaw. AEMA determined the groundwater event did not meet the DRP eligibility criteria, specifically the event was not considered extraordinary or widespread in nature.
AEMA recognized there were unique circumstances and approved a localized program with a budget up to $50,000 to support community response and evacuation costs. Council reviewed the AEMA letter at the October 1st Special Meeting and requested further clarification if there was coverage for residents affected by the groundwater flooding. AEMA responded and noted the community response refers to the municipality’s emergency response to the event. The evacuation costs will apply only to persons required to be evacuated because of the groundwater event.
In addition, a consultant for AEMA conducted an assessment of the Exshaw groundwater event as part of the DRP application review. The AEMA report and correspondence from Municipal Affairs/AEMA will be included as an information item at the Regular Council meeting on October 13, 2020. AEMA’s consultants report is not related to the groundwater study currently being prepared by McElhanney.
Administration will be working with an assigned DRP liaison on the localized program defined by AEMA. The MD of Bighorn is still reviewing this decision.
Robert Ellis, C.A.O.