The traumatic crisis is over; the exhausting clean-up now begins.
Pontiac2020.ca asked Municipality of Pontiac's communications officer Dominic Labrie five quick questions about the flood and what we can expect to happen next.
Above: Sand bags packed and ready at Quyon Fire Station, Tuesday morning.
Pontiac2020.ca: What was the first day you realized that people with houses along the river were going to be in trouble?
Dominic Labrie: There were two floods: one in mid-April, the other in May. In April, the Municipal Emergency Plan was activated on the 19th. During this [first] flood, more than 20 houses were affected. On May 1st, we saw that Chemin Pointe Indienne, Dion, Stanley, Bélisle, Desjardins and Sapinière were almost flooded [and then] we knew that we were in trouble, even if [the water level] was 10 cm lower than mid-April. That’s when a public message was issued.
Army workers rest and regroup along Ferry Rd. in Quyon.
P2020: What can you say about help from the Army?
DL: We are very grateful. They helped us save the pump house in Quyon, [where] we had been working for an entire day. It was stressful and a lot of effort for Public Works department. We were happy to see them the next morning, helping [us to] consolidate the dam on Ferry Road and secure the pump house building.
Massive sand bags at end of Church Rd. Quyon.
P2020: What can you say about help from the Red Cross?
DL: Their volunteers worked long days, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; some days from 9 a.m. to midnight. Wow! They were very impressive: well organized and compassionate.
The huge sand berm at the corner of Ferry Rd. and St. Andrew St., Quyon.
P2020: How did you feel about all the help from the local people, making sandwiches and loading sandbags?
DL: All their help was very well appreciated. When we manage a crisis like this, it’s difficult to organize the work; we don’t know how to expect the number of volunteers day by day. But all in all, last weekend was a great weekend. There was great community spirit; the volunteers, the Armed Forces and municipal workers, all working tirelessly to save homes and public infrastructures: that was impressive.
The berm along Ferry Road, Quyon, looking north.
P2020: What happens next? How can people keep helping the municipality during the clean-up?
DL: The clean up details can be found at http://www.municipalitepontiac.com/en/environment/spring-thaw/waste-mana...
The Army is taking care of the bags this week. We will see next week for the next step.
Go to the municipal website or call the Town Hall on 819 455 2401 for more information.