Local businesses in Fort McMurray continue to struggle 10 months after a spring flooding event caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.
According to data from Catastrophe Indices and Quantification, the flooding, which occurred in April 2020, caused $522 million in insured damage.
Since that severe weather-related event, the Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce has estimated that 20% to 40% of damaged businesses have reopened.
“And what we’ve been hearing is — as you can imagine — reconstruction has been slow,” chamber spokesperson Stuart McIntosh told CBC News.
“As a community member you can go down Franklin Avenue — the main drag in downtown Fort McMurray — you can certainly see that there are still businesses that have not been able to reopen.”
Alberta government spokesperson Jill Wheeler-Bryks revealed that as of mid-January, $14.5 million of the available $147 million in disaster relief funding had been paid out to private sector applicants. The province has also paid out $13.9 million in emergency evacuation payments, and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo – of which Fort McMurray is a part – got another $20 million to support community recovery efforts.
Wheeler-Bryks added that the regional municipality had received over 1,000 residential and small business applications for funding as of mid-January, noting that case managers continue to review the applications.