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In Pictures: High River residents return home after flood

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High River residents, who had fled the town when flood waters took over last week, were finally allowed back in to survey the damage.

This was zone 1, the first of the zones to be allowed access to their property.

Some residents in zone 4 have told Metro that they're going to be out of their homes for three weeks.


Editor's note: We first brought you the story of Cory and Sheri Goodman last week, when they were forced from their High River home due to rising flood waters.

For Cory Goodman and his family from High River, the recovery from the flood will be done ‘one day at a time’.

“Where the hell do you start,” Goodman asked, finally being allowed back home on Saturday after being displaced for over a week.

Although it was not the Goodman family’s first look at their High River home on Saturday, it was still not easy to stomach the damage to their property.

As residents living in the northwest area of High River were allowed back to their homes, Goodman said he had already snuck a peak at his home a week prior, but their were still a few new surprises upon their return.

The trampoline that was still sitting in the backyard appeared fine on the first glance, but arriving back on Saturday, it had fallen into a giant sinkhole.

Mould had also started to appear on the Goodman’s basement carpet.

“Unbelievable, the mould is growing already. That blows me away,” said Goodman.

Although Goodman was discouraged to see the damage done to the basement floor and the yard, he was relieved to see a number of his possessions survive unscathed;  his large collection of sporting goods in the garage and collection of soapstone carvings that he acquired while working up north were left intact.

“They are absolutely priceless, I got them right from the carver,” said Goodman.

While the Goodman’s home was tagged as a ‘yellow’ home by FortisAlberta, - meaning they received only some water damage - two doors down, Janis Stark was unsure if she would ever be able to live in a place they once called home.

Stark and her family were given a ‘red’ colour code, indicating that the home had extensive water damage and required considerable remediation before power could be restored.

A ‘red’ colour code means the home is uninhabitable.

The Stark’s were given the news when they checked in for re-entry.

“They said, 'sorry, your house is red,'” said Stark.

“They were very non-committal about what our next steps would be.”

Unlike Goodman’s home, Stark’s home had about 10 centimetres of thick, sludge all throughout the basement.

Flood waters had blown right through her basement patio doors and carried a number of the sandbags used to protect the home, into the basement and are now lying underneath the mud.

Walking into her daughter’s room, visible water lines show were the water creeped up the walls and damaged almost all of the room’s contents.

After seeing the damage to their home, the Stark’s removed their now smelly fridge and began packing up their salvageable items.

“I have been wearing the same clothes for a few days thinking I could come back, but now it's time to go,” said Stark.

The flood-ravaged town of High River will be going through a three-phase re-entry plan for residents.

The re-entry plan includes three phases:

Phase  One - The town is made safe;

 Phase  Two - Staged re-entry of residents; and

 Phase  Three - Termination of the state of emergency.

The construction has started on temporary housing solutions for those who will not be able to return to their homes.

While the re-entry plan is being carried out, the High River Welcome Centre remains the hub of information and support.

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