Quebec is losing ground: the face of Sainte-Flavie is completely transformed

News 16 December, 2017
  • Photo Stephanie Gendron
    Of the 70 victims of the storm of December 2010 in Sainte-Flavie, 25 have demolished their home, and 16 have moved. Others have made the choice to stay, despite everything.

    Stephanie Gendron

    Saturday, 16 December, 2017 01:00

    Saturday, 16 December, 2017 01:00

    Look at this article

    SAINTE-FLAVIE | The passage of a historic storm during high tides in 2010 in Sainte-Flavie, Bas-du-Fleuve has changed the heart of the village, forcing the residents to relocate or demolish their home. Seven years later, the municipality is still marked by this event.

    Impossible to ignore the new vacant lots at the edge of the St. Lawrence river when travelling to Sainte-Flavie. On the 70 victims of the December 6, 2010,

    25 have demolished their home, and 16 have moved. Others have made the choice to stay despite all the risks that this entails.

    The village of Sainte-Flavie continued to be marked by the event and learned a lot.

    In the aftermath of the event, it was difficult to move residents on to some municipal land available.

    “There, the strategy is ready if it happens again,” said the mayor of Sainte-Flavie, Jean-François Fortin, who note that people remained fearful.

    Photo Stephanie Gendron

    The mayor of Sainte-Flavie, Jean-François Fortin.

    Monitor what is going on

    It now monitors the tides and the atmospheric pressure. Because this last point has had its role to play in the strength of the storm.

    “We put a system of monitoring place with the people, which allows us to monitor what’s going on,” said the mayor.

    Since 2010, there have been several episodes of flooding among residents of the river’s edge, but no event as serious as seven years ago.

    The regulations, since, are more strict with regard to the buildings at the edge of the river.

    “It will become a lot more difficult to build at the edge of the river. Currently, there are many mansions that are in that area, which is an area where ever you could not build today. There was no other choice than to protect our people and offer them solutions, ” confirms the mayor Jean-François Fortin.

    Following this event, which marked the eastern Quebec and not only in Sainte-Flavie, relief efforts have received$ 26 Million in financial assistance.

    A lot of things have changed in the wake of this event, including a greater awareness of elected officials of the problems related to coastal erosion.

    Since this difficult time, some citizens have learned, are alert and will not hesitate to leave their homes to take refuge in a safe place.

    But not all of them.

    “Many unfortunately tend to quickly forget what happened seven years ago. No matter what happens or will happen, they are here to stay. There is still a belief as to overcome the sea when it is unleashed. This is what poses a problem from the point of view of the security of the people, ” notes Jacques Belanger, the regional director of the civil Safety and fire Safety Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gaspésie, Îles-de-la-Madeleine.