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High River First On List For Emergency Debit Card Distribution

 
 

HIGH RIVER:  Residents of High River, the community hardest hit by flooding, will likely not be allowed back to their homes for days to come yet.

 

Although crews are working to restore utilities, the health concerns for those who would return to submerged homes are an over-riding concern. RCMP are still standing guard over the community, with officers on ATVs. There are currently 186 RCMP officers deployed in the town and they are working shifts to provide 24 hour coverage. The officers have been issued special breathing masks for their own protection.

 

The RCMP also had a Specialized Dive Team conduct underwater searches in deeply flooded homes, submerged vehicles, and through debris and streams in High River. The Dive Team is assessing buildings for structural integrity, searching for casualties and looking for any safety concerns that may not be visible above water. 

 

On Wednesday morning, the province released information on resources being mobilized to deliver pre-loaded debit cards to people in flood-impacted communities. The immediate priority is assisting people who are relying on reception centres serving evacuated areas.



Associate Minister of Regional Recovery and Reconstruction, Rick Fraser says those in most need are at the top of the list, “Due to the scale of flood damage, our first focus is providing financial assistance to those in the evacuated High River area.”

 

According to a release from the province, "Debit card processing sites will be set up in Nanton and Vulcan beginning Thursday, June 27th, to assist High River evacuees. Additional sites will be set up in Calgary and other communities in the coming week to assist other Albertans affected by flooding".

 

This pre-loaded debit card will allow for immediate cash withdrawals at ATMs, debit machines and internet purchases. Individual adult evacuees will be eligible to receive $1,250 and children under 18 will be eligible for $500.

 

High River evacuees should register with their local authorities or the Red Cross. Once registered, High River evacuees can go to the Nanton or Vulcan debit card processing sites.

-- Nanton Curling Club at 21 Avenue and 18 Street

-- Vulcan - The Lodge Hall at 229 Centre Street

 

In an effort to efficiently handle the large number of people who have been evacuated by the flooding, specified times are identified for High River households to apply for the debit card. These are based on the last name of the primary applicant:

-- Thurs, June 27: 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. - High River households with last names starting with A to L

-- Friday, June 28: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. - High River households with last names starting with M to Z

-- Saturday, June 29: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. - any High River area evacuees; and

-- Sunday, June 30: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. - any High River area evacuees.

 

More locations will be announced in coming days for Calgary and other areas affected by flooding. In the meantime, those who remain unable to return home due to flooding, should first register with the Red Cross through redcross.ca or call 1-866-696-6484.

 

Affected low income Albertans can also go to any Alberta Works office to get additional information and support through an emergency needs allowance. Alberta Works offices will not be offering pre-loaded debit card assistance at this time.

 

For latest information, visit http://alberta.ca/recoveryinformation.cfm or call 310-4455.

 

Photos from RCMP:  Top: High River street under water.  Middle: RCMP officers out-fitted with protective masks while they patrol the town. Bottom: RCMP Dive Team checking submerged property and vehicles.



Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 4/23/2014 3:15:32 PM
Source: Dori Modney (@Dori_Modney on Twitter) -- Country 95 News -- Photo credits to Southern Alberta RCMP
 
 
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