Don’t forget about the plight of High River

While I applaud Mr. Podmore on his efforts, my question would be: What about High River, Alberta?

I am writing in regards to the article of Aug. 9 about Kenny Podmore organizing a fundraiser for the town of Lac-Maegantic. While I applaud Mr. Podmore on his efforts, my question would be: What about High River, Alberta?

High River is no longer on the news every night, as is Lac-Megantic. While the loss of life was not near as many as in that little town, I can assure readers that the devastation is every bit as bad and actually worse.

The town of 13,000 wlil take years to recover from the flooding, if ever. Many of the residents have been displaced from their homes. Temporary housing has been set up outside of town for people in trailers.

Most of the downtown businesses still are not open and many have moved the Okotoks,a  town 25 minutes from High River. Downtown looks like a ghost town even after 50 days.

When the disaster first happened there were thousands of volunteers who came to help with the clean-up. Now, however, because of volunteer fatigue or just getting on with their own lives, help has dwindled.

Many people are walking away from their homes, some being seniors who see their life’s endeavours for a peaceful retirement in ruins.

And to top it all off, the bottom-feeders are preying on the residents as bogus contractors offer assistance at inflated prices.

Money was raised by one charity organization for the people of High River but none has made its way to any of the residents as yet and they are starting to ask why. The Salvation Army has been unbelievably helpful with food vouchers, clothes, etc.

Because High River was my old home town and I was heartbroken as to what happened there, I took it upon myself to raise money for a family there.

With the generosity of my friends, I was able to send almost $1,100 to them in cash and gift cards.

My plea to readers is please, do not forget about High River.

They are still so very much in a devastating state and will be for a very, very long time.

They continue to get the runaround by the government while trying to jump through hoops in order to get the Disaster Recovery Funds which will allow them to rebuild their homes — if they can rebuild. It is extremely frustrating and stressful for them.

Marie Rott



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