Roche Percee flood victims could move to higher ground
The flood victims of Roche Percee have until the middle of May to give up on living at the bottom of the valley.
Roche Percee was cut in half by flood waters last summer. While homes on the hill survived, more than 30 homes at the bottom were destroyed.
Just under 100 people from the small town crowded into the meeting Thursday night where they were given an option on its way to government.
"Their proposal is to abandon all properties in the flood plain," explained Sharon Wells, deputy mayor of Roche Percee.
A piece of land on the top of the hill has been bought and lots will be traded for the ruined land near the river. Wells says property by the river is now worthless because people cannot rebuild in the flood plain.
"From what we understand it will be all or nothing because you cannot get insurance and you cannot build down there," Wells said.
The Provincial Disaster Assistance Program has already paid out many people for their homes but the program doesn't purchase land. Wells says a group is representing the town. It is Commonwealth Corporate Support Services Group Canada Ltd. out of Alberta.
That group plans to approach both the province and federal government to fund the swap.
Some residents own up to three acres in the flood plain and they don't agree with the exchange. Also, there are two homes near the river where people are living. They too would need to agree to have their homes moved to higher ground.
They have been told they need an answer for the group by the middle of the month.
Wells says it's important they keep as many people as they can in the community. As it stands now, they are at risk of losing nearly half their tax base.
Edited by News Talk Radio's Adriana Christianson and Karen Brownlee