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Updated: Fri, 28 Jun 2013 11:22:22 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Mayor of flooded-out High River says he gets the frustration



Mayor of flooded-out High River says he gets the frustration

The mayor of High River says he understands the community’s frustration as officials try to plan a safe return to the flooded Alberta town.

Provincial inspectors are going house to house in the town 70 kilometres south of Calgary to determine which buildings are habitable and which will have to be condemned.

About 13,000 residents were removed from High River last Thursday as the Highwood River swamped much of the town.

The people of High River are anxious to get back in and start the rebuilding process, said Mayor Emile Blokland.

“This is their community," he said. "This is where their neighbours are, their friends are, and we'll put this town back together again."

One of the outstanding safety issues is the huge body of water that formed in town during the flood, said Calgary South East MLA Rick Fraser.

“The last thing we want is to put people in homes and say we have to evacuate because this lake decided to drain,” he said.

Short-term housing is being offered at the University of Lethbridge.

Town officials said a re-entry plan would be revealed on Friday.

Cargill Meat Solutions, which employs 2,000 people in High River, could be back in production next week. Cargill's facilities weren't flooded, but the company needs access to potable water in order to resume operations.

Alberta Premier Alison Redford, who visited the meat plant on Sunday, said it’s a critical part of Alberta's beef Industry.

The town is still trying to get its sewage system back on line. The provincial government has provided a pump and irrigation piping to bring their systems online.

The province has also pledged $50 million to help with the cleanup in High River.

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