Having to boil water and shifting air quality are just a couple of the issues Fort McMurray residents will be dealing with when they begin to return on the 1st of June.
Bob Couture, the director of the Regional Emergency Operations Centre, says a lot of residents will find their homes pretty much the way they left them, but it’s hard to say what will be going on inside.
“There could possibly be a small smell of smoke within it, and then there may be others where they have lost power for an extensive period of time and that their appliances and food stuff left in them could be a problem” remarked Couture. “And, of course, we have a plan to deal with those issues and we’re trying to cover off as many of those contingencies as possible.”
He says those getting set for the drive back should bring with them at least two-weeks of supplies like groceries and medications, as local stores get back up and running.
“The first phase, of course, is to get our information centres up and staff working. And on the 27th (of May) we’ll start with actually using our employees — testing the system — to enter their own homes and to find out what they will find and won’t find. And, again, hopefully we have everything all worked out prior to June the 1st when we welcome everyone home.”
Mellisa Blake, the mayor of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, says she has her plans in place.
“What our family has decided to do, is that we will take that first opportunity to go home to see what our home is like,” explained Blake. “Take of few of the essentials that we wish we had all along that we didn’t get, and then return to finish out the school year here (Edmonton) for our children, travelling back and forth as required. But we really don’t want to inhabit the area until we have the quality of drinking water that we left when we evacuated in the first place.” (td)