June 2020 Status

The 2020 flood had many far-reaching negative impacts on the region – it affected more than 1000 buildings and properties across different areas in Fort McMurray. For many people, the recovery and cleanup process is still happening.

This flood was one of the most significant in our region’s recent history. We are at a very important point in time, where we must take steps to make our neighbourhoods and communities safer while reducing the likelihood of flood risk in the future.

At first glance, this may seem like a near-impossible job. But it’s not. We are already doing many things to make our neighbourhoods safer as part of our flood mitigation strategy. But we have realized that this may not be the only solution that will enhance safety. Over the next period, we are committed to providing meaningful opportunities for dialogue, discussion and input on how we keep these neighbourhoods safe.

There is always risk when building on floodplains, and our recent approach has been to address this risk by building berms. However, this approach cannot guarantee safety or eliminate all risk in the event of a flood exceeding 1-in-100 levels like we had in 2020.   

In early July we issued a survey to outline possible options for land development in the flood affected areas. You can download the survey results here.

Our conversation will require exploring options for how to best manage the flood risk in Taiga Nova Eco-Industrial Park, downtown, Ptarmigan Court, Waterways and Draper. We are considering a variety of options ranging from continuing with our current approach, land-use regulations, land-swaps or even to buyouts of properties in the floodplain.  We recognize that each area is unique, and the solutions will not be one-size-fits-all. Each area will require a tailored approach.

We have not completed in-depth analysis of any of these approaches, and we want to ensure that the community is part of the conversation.

This is a conversation that involves all people and businesses in the region. We encourage all residents and property owners to fill out the survey below. This survey is one step in an important process of engaging you – and we will be providing other opportunities to connect with us on this important matter in the near future.

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Thank you to those who participated in this engagement. You can learn more about this project below, or subscribe to Participate Wood Buffalo to stay connected (or get involved) with future engagement projects impacting our region.

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