After flames ripped their way through entire neighborhoods of the Alberta town, rebuilding is been slow.
Two years after the devastating Fort McMurray fire in Canada, wildfire insurance problems continue to plague homeowners. In fact, only 20 percent of the destroyed homes are rebuilt.
The northern Alberta saw 2,579 homes completely destroyed by the wildfire that struck in 2016.
The destruction produced the highest wildfire costs in Canada until that time, as Live Insurance News reported. Donations to support those whose homes were ravaged poured in from across the country as well as the United States. Unfortunately, wildfire insurance problems have drastically held back the ability to rebuild.
Only 20 percent of the 2,579 homes have been rebuilt. Only half of the destroyed homes are in some phase of reconstruction. The hardest hit neighborhoods remain an eerie reminder of what occurred there two years ago. Some areas are starting to look like new suburban developments, such as the Abasand subdivision. Construction crews are onsite and have dug the basements once again. Only the occasional crispy tree stumps are left as evidence of what occurred.
The mayor says the reconstruction is on track, homeowners are frustrated with wildfire insurance problems.
The mayor of Wood Buffalo, Don Scott, said he is glad with the progress. He explained that the timeline for rebuilding Fort McMurray remains on track, even though there remains a long way to go.
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“We’re still going to see another two to three years before everybody should be back in their homes,” said Mayor Scott, as quoted in a Global News report. Scott also explained that even as the pace remains on track, it is still somewhat disappointing. “I’m never fully satisfied with where we’re at,” he said. “I always want to see everybody back in their houses. A lot of that is out of municipal control. People are still dealing with insurance companies. They’re dealing with contractors.”
Just as the town was brought together following the wildfire, so is their frustration with homeowners insurance companies. They are making an effort to support one another, but many are left with considerable insurance complaints. Those who are still waiting for construction to start on their homes are angry with their homeowners insurance companies. Those whose homes are under construction feel sorry for friends and family members without such luck.
“Insurance is a bit of a swear word in this town,” said Paddy McSwiggins pub owner, Gareth Norris in the Global News report. He and many other home and business owners continue to battle with wildfire insurance problems. Many say they are left with no choice but to file to take their insurers to court.