Southern Alberta was hit by severe floods last year, making 2013 a record year for insured damages across Canada. Credit: Ryan L.C. Quan.

The Province of Alberta has earmarked $1.5 billion for flood mitigation and recovery programs over the next three years, garnering approval from the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). Grants for erosion control, flood hazard mapping, mitigation related to water and wastewater infrastructure, and protecting areas susceptible to future flood damage will collectively cost $700 million, while a further $859 million will go toward flood recovery measures.

Bill Adams, the IBC vice-president of the Western and Pacific region, made a lengthy statement about the importance of the investment to the province: “It’s no secret we are seeing more severe weather, especially more intense rainfalls. This overburdens our sewer and stormwater infrastructure, resulting in more sewer backups in homes and businesses. We know there is a need for Albertans to prepare for the inevitable. Property and casualty insurers are collaborating with all three levels of government to help Canadians adapt to these new weather realities.”

Adams added that 2013 “was a record year for insured damages across Canada” and that “last summer’s Southern Alberta flooding was the costliest insured disaster in our country’s history. We support initiatives that build resilience and help the many communities across the province affected by recent natural disasters. We will continue to work with the governments at all levels to build safer and more resilient communities.”

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