Bittersweet return home for some Fort McMurray residents
More residents traveled home to Fort McMurray Saturday, but thousands of their neighbours who expected to re-enter on schedule—could not.
For many re-entering the city, the homecoming is bittersweet. The Grayling Terrace neighbourhood sits in between two others that were deemed “unsafe”.
“We were a little concerned,” said homeowner, Tina Burden. “Being in-between it, you know, there’s toxins there and there’s toxins there, what’s coming here?”
The communities of Abasand, Waterways and Beacon Hill remain uninhabitable due to toxins in the air and soil. While residents from the neighbourhoods of Grayling Terrace and Draper joined thousands more inside the city, individuals from those three neighbourhoods are still unable to return to their homes.
On Sunday, people whose homes were destroyed in the neighbourhoods deemed “safe” will be escorted to their properties with crews. The crews will be able to sift through debris—looking for salvageable items.
Plans are in place to allow residents of Abasand, Beacon Hill and Waterways to visit their homes under supervision on Thursday.
The province’s voluntary phased re-entry continues to remain on schedule, as Saturday marks Day 4 of Fort McMurray re-entry.
The boil water advisory has been lifted for the downtown area, though it remains in effect in every other area of the city.
The wildfire now covers more than 581,000 hectares. It is nearly 56 percent contained.
With files from Breanna Karstens-Smith