Waterways residents will be able to return to their standing homes on Monday, October 24, 2016, following today’s updated recommendation from the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH). This re-entry is considered Phase 2A. It includes all 31 standing homes and two commercial structures in Waterways. This phase of re-entry was made possible by the substantial completion of demolition and the presence of multiple risk mitigation measures to protect returning Waterways residents.
Many homes in Waterways were modular homes, resulting in a lower volume of ash and debris to be cleared. The average clean-up time for properties in Waterways ranges from one to two days, aided by the fact that many modular homes are placed on above-ground concrete pads or pilings. At this time, the three properties that were front facing, rear facing or that shared a property line with residents that are proposed for re-entry in Phase 2A have started the clean-up process and are anticipated to be complete prior to re-entry (in some instances foundations may remain in place). The risk mitigation measures that are in place in Waterways will ensure the safety of residents should demolition not be completed by re-entry.
“On behalf of the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee, I’d like to share our gratitude to our returning Waterways residents for their continued patience and resilience. Alongside the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Government of Alberta and Alberta Health Services, we are very happy to welcome you home. We continue to work hard on behalf of all Wood Buffalo residents, especially those who have yet to be able to return home in Beacon Hill and Abasand.”
— Jeanette Bancarz, Chair, Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee
“My recommendations to enable residents to re-enter and re-occupy some areas of Waterways were made after a thorough review of the municipality’s Phase 2a re-entry plan. The municipality has worked to develop a comprehensive plan to protect the safety and well-being of those residents returning to their homes in Waterways. I would like to remind residents to keep health top of mind for themselves, their families, and their neighbours as your community moves forward with rebuilding.”
— Dr. Karen Grimsrud, Chief Medical Officer of Health
An Information Centre will be open at the Royal Canadian Legion on Huggard Street in Waterways, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday, October 24, 2016.
The remaining standing homes in Abasand and Beacon Hill will be able to re-enter following the completion of demolition, as part of Phase 2B.
Returning residents are encouraged to contact their natural gas retailer as soon as possible to have heating service restored. When temperatures dip below zero, there could be freezing of water pipes at their property, which can cause damage through the winter months. Heating standing homes helps to prevent against this kind of damage.
For more information about the scheduled re-entry, visit www.rmwb.ca/ABW.