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One dead in Wood Buffalo flooding, emergency funding coming for evacuees

The flooding in the Fort McMurray area has claimed its first life. Wood Buffalo Regional Municipality Mayor Don Scott confirmed Wednesday that the death was water-related on the Athabasca River north of the community. Officials have reached out to the deceased’s family with offers of help.

The Alberta government is now offering emergency payments to individuals who have had to evacuate due to the flooding in northern Alberta, including Mackenzie County. Those being sheltered in hotels and other accommodations will have their costs covered by the province and local municipalities.

“I know you are worried about your homes and you’re likely concerned about how you will pay for expenses, while you’re away,” says Minister of Community and Social Services Rajan Sawhney. “Together, we will help you get through this.”

Information on the application process can be found at www.alberta.ca/emergency, starting Monday, May 4th. Those eligible will receive $1,250 per adult and $500 per dependent child, which will be e-transferred for those able, or other arrangements can be made.

Roughly 13,000 people have been forced by their homes by an ice jam that caused major flooding in Fort McMurray’s downtown. In Mackenzie County, more than 450 residents were evacuated after the Peace River breached its banks at Fort Vermilion and North Vermilion.

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