The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is reporting that the spring flooding event in Fort McMurray, Alberta, led to more than $228 million in insured damage.
Citing data from Catastrophe Indices and Quantification Inc. (CatIQ), the bureau said that the majority of the insured damage involved commercial property, with the remaining losses related to personal property and automobiles.
The flood was caused by an ice jam that formed on the Athabasca River on April 26 near Fort McMurray. The jam caused water levels to rise by 4.5 to 6 meters across low-lying areas in the region. Severe flooding risk forced the evacuation of about 13,000 people between April 26 and May 02.
Preliminary damage surveys conducted by regional authorities outlined that over 1,200 structures were affected by the flooding. IBC noted that the assessments are still in process as residents return to their properties. It has been reported that many properties suffered extensive damage due to overland flooding and sewer backup.
“Our thoughts are with the people of Fort McMurray who have been impacted by these floods. While overland flood insurance is optional coverage and fairly new to the residential market, the insurance industry is here to help its customers through this challenging time,” said IBC western vice-president Celyeste Power.
IBC stated that in addition to the $228 million insurers have paid to cover the flood damage, the Alberta government announced $147 million of support through the Disaster Recovery Program (DRP). Consumers who have insurance may be eligible for the DRP assistance.