Unable to sleep since 2 months

News 11 July, 2017
  • Photo Hugo Duchaine
    Stressed and unable to sleep for the past two months, Sylvie Blackburn is off work and is consulting with a psychologist from his home on the island Mercier, who is even in the sale, has been ravaged by the floods of last spring.

    Hugo Duchaine and
    Marie-Eve Dumont

    Tuesday, 11 July 2017 23:06

    Tuesday, 11 July 2017 23:06

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    Flood-affected people of the island Mercier in Montreal feel held hostage by the government, which is threatening to want to demolish their house if the damage cost of flooding in the spring is estimated to be more than 50% of its value.

    “It is as if I was in the hospital with cancer and that if I had more than a 50% chance of dying, I am not cure, even worse, it kills me,” growls Denis Cauchon, who lives in a small bungalow at the edge of the water for more than 30 years.

    Last may, he was forced to leave his home when his basement is completely filled with water. His wife and him, which also serve as a host family for three children, had to rent a residence to continue to have a roof.

    “I can’t even repair it and pay out of my pocket, because I don’t know if the government is going to me to demolish it,” he says, exasperated by the long waits on the phone with officials to try to learn more.

    Recently, he has demolished in his flooded basement and sends the invoices to the government in the expectation of a refund.

    Man of 61 years earned his living as a mechanic. His house was to him his pension fund, he is afraid now of losing. “They are going to give the municipal assessment, but it is always less, which is what I’m going to find a home with five bedrooms at the water’s edge “, he asks.


    Her neighbor, Sylvie Blackburn, is in the same boat. His little house of only one floor has been ravaged by the flood waters.

    The fifty-year-old had to rip everything out, floors and walls. Its appliances are still under a tent outside. They had to dry for a few days, but they are always there.

    Fortunately, she said that she was one of the only of his island to be awarded 20 000 $ from the government for a demolition of an emergency. She is now waiting to know whether she can rebuild or whether it should be demolished.

    “It is in the nothingness. I have more benchmarks, more in me, I’m off work and I don’t sleep, because I only think about that, ” she said. Mrs. Blackburn lives with her partner on the South Shore, and shall not come into his house to pick up the mail, where the leaflets of the contractors pile up.

    Coiteux open

    The minister of public Safety, Martin Coiteux, said on Tuesday that the inspection reports of all of the residences affected by the spring floods is expected to be completed within five weeks.

    Impossible, however, to know if the victims will be able to start work as soon as they receive their inspection report, which must describe the work to be done and the assistance provided by Quebec, or if there will be other steps to take.

    The minister said he would take note of the fact that several people disagreed with the decree that prevents the reconstruction of houses in flood zone 0-20 years damaged more than 50 %. It is said to be open to improve or modify it.

    Need money, not psychological help, ” said a resident

    Photo Martin Alarie

    Rejean Souligny said that the waiting, at least another five weeks, will make him sick.

    A resident of Laval, who still cannot return home denounces that the government only seeks to gain time, rather than actually help the disaster victims.

    “When you no longer live at home, it is the hell for the couple, the hell for the money and hell for the mind,” says Rejean Souligny, 57-year-old, installed in a caravan on a campsite for two months.


    “They offer us psychological help, but they give us money and it will go well, it was going very well in my life there are two and a half months “, ton-t-he, finding it too long the period of five weeks was announced by the minister Martin Coiteux.

    The foundations of his house on stilts in the west of Laval, have been damaged by flood waters, but all the rest is in good condition, he says.

    It is estimated that the work could cost him more than $ 90,000, a sum that he has not and he does not want to borrow from the bank in order not to pay interest.

    But this fear of the Laval above all, it is to be unable to find a contractor if it may not call it that in several weeks, when they will all be overwhelmed.

    He was afraid of having to spend the winter in its trailer.

    Worried not know the amount allocated

    Photo Marie-Ève Dumont

    Bernard Strauss and Nicole David-Strauss have to clean the basement of their home after they have had nearly eight feet of water at the height of the spring floods in may last.

    A couple of The Île-Bizard in Montréal, lives in the insecurity of not knowing what amount will be allocated to rebuild their basement. He only wants one thing : to resume a normal life.

    “Are we going to have to wait a year, two, three as to Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu [six years ago] ? We put our retirement savings for the cleaning and started to work, we can’t wait. We saw a lot of anger and frustration, but we try not to get destroyed by it, ” stresses Nicole David-Strauss.

    Ms. David-Strauss and her husband Bernard Strauss, had to leave their residence promptly for the 7 last may, when the dam behind the house has caved in, letting in water by the door and the windows. At the height of the floods, there have been nearly eight feet of water in the basement.

    “What was your security, safety, on what you’ve worked all your life, your marks disappear. It is as if a part of your history was cleared “, laments Ms. David-Strauss.

    The couple believes that the work of reconstruction, cleaning, replacement of the furnace from the electrical box and the water heater, they will cost between 50 000 and 60 000 $. An amount that does not include all the furniture, appliances and other articles, soiled by the water.

    Angry with the government’s apology

    Photo courtesy André Cyr

    The basement of the home of André Cyr, Laval, was flooded last may.

    ” The government should not be able to rely on the bureaucracy to justify that this will be so long before sending money to people “, said André Cyr, lost to Laval.

    The 52 year old man has to redo his basement, as the water rose to a little more than two feet in height during the spring freshet. The reconstruction costs are $ 20,000, of which $ 5,000 has already been given by the insurance companies.

    “We sleep badly because we do not have big salaries. For us, 15 000 $ or 10 000 $, it is a lot of money. I don’t want to lose my house. If I at least knew what the government intends to give me, I could make choices, put the renovations of a part to later, ” says the one who still needs to go do her washing for the family or friends as it is always private washer.

    Mr. Cyr has been cleaned and has begun the work in order to try to resume a normal life as quickly as possible.

    “I am angry to see repeated again and again the same excuses. I hope we will not have to wait for next election to get our compensation, ” insists Mr. Cyr.