After getting hit with 7.5 feet of water during the flood in 2005, Foothills residents Brian and Sharon McCaughan decided to build a dike to protect themselves. Then they got hit again, this time with 13 feet of water during the 2013 flood.
Now with the mitigation works that have been completed to protect the Town of High River, which will send water downstream on the Highwood River, studies show they could be hit with 16 feet of water if and when the next flood happens.
Due to concerns for further property damage, the McCaughan's applied to build the dike higher but were instead served with a stop order to remove the dike entirely.
Sharon McCaughan says, "We're just trying to protect ourselves until something can happen and us landowners north of High River can be assisted by the Alberta government."
Right now, the McCaughan's are hoping to get a temporary approval until the provincial government comes up with a solution.
Brian McCaughan says, "If they don't give us a temporary permit, we have to remove the dike, which in essence floods us. Even in a low flood year, it'll flood out our business side again, so it's like a death sentence really. If they tear it down, we're insecure once again."
Sharon adds, "What's funny about them doing this to us is that we still have a dike that the MD installed themselves on our property in 2014. So after the big flood, because of the mitigation work, the MD already knew from their studies that we were gonna be hit worse next time."
The appeal hearing was heard Tuesday, November 6 at the High River Municipal Building.
A decision will be made within two weeks.
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