A group of Calgary neighbours have taken their risk odds into their own hands, following the catastrophic floods that plagued the city in 2013. The residents of Calgary’s Discovery Ridge have built their own earth berm to separate their homes from the nearby Elbow River, to the tune of $2.2 million.
The Wedgewoods, a condo complex within the neighbourhood, suffered $13 million in damage in the 2013 floods. To prevent further flooding – and rising condo fees and insurance premiums – the 1,200 residents opted to implement their own flood mitigation strategy, via their condo board.
“There was absolutely some resistance. But the board felt very strongly that this is what we had to do and we had to mitigate,” said resident Brenda Belcher to Global News
. “We had to be able to have insurance. So bottom line is we couldn’t wait for anybody to do it, we had to do it ourselves.”
Residents have also opted to move their heating boilers to the main floors, and have added flood-proof doors to units in addition to the earth berm, the funding of which was refused by the province.
Over 100,000 people were forced to evacuate downtown Calgary during the 2013 floods, which cost the province $1.5 billion in total losses. And flood incidents are on the rise – a recent study by Swiss Re Canada finds floods make up half of Canada’s natural disasters as of 1970, with only 40% of the current risk covered by insurance.
Christy Clarke sets $65 million aside for flood relief