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Friday , 23 October 2020

Moghrabi estimates LLB flood damages could top $4M

The County is still assessing the damage

Lac La Biche County has sent a request to the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Kaycee Madu, for $1.6 million dollars to help cover the cost of the damages due to the flooding that occurred in June.

Mayor, Omer Moghrabi, said the $1.6 million request is just the beginning.

“We sent in the initial request to open up a file, so we can request for more money afterwards,” said Moghrabi.

With our assessments, we asked for $1.6 million, but we are going to need much more than that.”

On June 7, the County declared a State of Local Emergency due to overland flooding and drainage issues.

Just four days later, the County ended the local emergency, but the hamlet of Lac La Biche is still dealing with the floods aftermath a month later.

In fact, Moghrabi believes the damages could be more than double the amount they requested for.

I think easily it will go up to $4 million dollars in damages,” said Moghrabi.

“A bridge can sometimes cost $2 million dollars, and I know there is one bridge for sure we have to do, and I’m being conservative at this point.

“A lot of the damages are provincial, so our provincial highways. The next one is our municipal, and we are assessing culverts that have to be replaced, parts of roads that have to be replaced, bridges, so that’s the majority of where our damages are,” said Moghrabi.

Once the request goes through for the initial $1.6 million, Moghrabi says the County to assess municipal and residential damages.

However, he says there is no guarantee residents will get money from the municipality.

For residents who experienced property damage due to flooding, fill out the County’s questionnaire.

Since the flooding in Lac La Biche, the County has now implemented a Local Emergency Alerting System, which allows for residents to get phone alerts when there is a local emergency such as flooding and wildfires.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connect Media. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.