The municipalities of Drumheller and Fort McMurray will continue to thrive thanks to special considerations introduced by the Government of Alberta in response to the June floods.
The two communities, both of which are largely located in floodways, will be able to continue to develop in floodways. Both will be required to ensure appropriate mitigation measures are in place to protect against a 1-in-100 flood event. In addition, homeowners in the community will not be eligible for relocation compensation.
“Having developed in a floodway for decades, these municipalities face unique situations that require unique solutions. We need to put measures in place to protect the community but it would be fiscally unreasonable to move entire urban areas or not to allow for future development. This decision ensures the best outcomes for everyone.”
- Doug Griffiths, Minister of Municipal Affairs
The Town of Drumheller currently has development policies in place through its land use bylaw that restricts development in flood risk areas. The Town will work with the province to finalize an approved development zone that would allow development in certain areas, providing adequate mitigation measures are put in place.
“We are pleased to see the province’s recognition that flood mitigation efforts in 2005 and 2013 were effective. We will work with the province to take additional steps to improve our flood control systems while protecting our citizens and their property in the future.”
Floodway area in Fort McMurray is based on the danger of an ice jam event, a waterway blockage that leads to regional flooding, rather than the open water flooding events more typical in other communities. The Municipality of Wood Buffalo is preparing a special bylaw to provide for greater flood protection in the city centre and will be presenting this bylaw to council on August 27.
"I want to thank Minister Griffiths for accommodating our unique situation. We will continue to work with the Province to ensure our flood protection strategy meets the necessary requirements. As our city centre has grown, we have incorporated flood protection strategies and we will continue to do so to protect residents and property."