The city of Fort McMurray is bracing for what will certainly be an emotional return for some three to four thousand residents to the three hardest hit areas.
Residents of the restricted neighborhoods of Abasand, Beacon Hill and Waterways will be able to view their properties from behind barriers, and with an appointment, they can direct a group of trained professionals to search the ash and rubble for personal mementos.
Director of emergency management Bob Couture says their presence in the restricted area will be temporary.
“They’re not going to be able to stay. The recommendation is that they’re only going in to obtain essential items, and then back out again. That process will last from 8:00 in the morning until 8:00 in the evening.”
With so much destruction Couture acknowledges there have been delays in getting the 90 plus volunteer searchers into people’s homes as quickly as some would like.
“They’re volunteers. It’s a volunteer organization that’s trying it’s best to provide those services. We’re going to supplement them with some additional resources so that we can get those mementos back to the citizens and residents.”
Residents in the restricted area can book an appointment to have their property searched by calling the municipality’s PULSE line at 780-743-7000.