According to data from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the Fort McMurray area, which was devastsated last year by the costliest natural disaster in Canadian history, is rebuilding at a faster than expected rate.
If the current pace holds, the entirety of the rebuild should be completed by either 2020 or 2021, which is far quicker than what was believed possible prior to construction commencing. Initial estimates held that Fort McMurray lacked the infrastrcutre to launch more than 600 new home construction projects in a year, but in the time period since the disaster, rebuilding has already begun on a total of 844 homes.
Timothy Gensey, lead author of the CMHC report, credits that efficiency to both the influx of workers from other areas and the resilience of the community.
"The community has persevered and there has been a strong push for rebuilding this year," Gensey said. "Even in spite of uncertain oil prices, residents of Fort McMuray are returning, they are rebuilding their homes and the community remains vibrant."
It appears that 99 per cent of the houses wrecked by the fire will be rebuilt, while those that aren't are reportedly being left vacant to create a flood defence zone. In fact, construction levels have reached their highest rate since 2009, a year in which oil prices were booming and people came flocking to the area.
Having made it through such a turbulent year, Fort McMurray is now even in a position where it can lend a hand to those in the B.C. area who are currently going through their own wildfire hardships. For two weeks now, Fort McMurray has been sending pickup trucks and tractor trailers filled with supplies such as food, water, hygiene products, and gear for volunteer firefighters.