Flood vic­tims sue city

Mont Trem­blant re­ceives $17 mil­lion in­vest­ment

Montreal Times - - Front Page -

It has been al­most one year since the Rivière des Prairies over­flowed its banks, caus­ing flood­ing that saw wa­ters rise to record lev­els - hit­ting the Pier­re­fonds-Roxboro area es­pe­cially hard. And now there are a group of res­i­dents who are tired of wait­ing for ac­tion and have taken it upon them­selves to do some­thing about it.

A re­ported 32 flood vic­tims have de­cided to sue the bor­ough for neg­li­gence - cit­ing a lack of ac­tion con­trib­uted to dam­age dur­ing last year’s spring floods. Ra­dio-Canada re­ported that the law­suits are seek­ing any­where be­tween $500 and $135,000 in com­pen­sa­tion for dam­ages in­curred.

The res­i­dents, most from 5th Av­enue North, say the city failed to take any pre­ven­tive mea­sures and that they had an obli­ga­tion to do so. In fact, they say Mayor Jim Beis also failed to fix a dike, de­spite re­quests to do so af­ter it was breached sev­eral years ago.

The group al­leges they saw the flood com­ing and had the dike been re­paired, be­lieve the flood­ing would not have been as bad. As well, the law­suits claim Mayor Beis failed to de­liver sand­bags on time and that they wrote emails to him for help be­fore the wa­ters over­flowed its banks.

In a CTV re­port, Klaus Bod­nick, whose home had $40,000 in dam­ages said they were told, "We have our ex­perts look­ing at it and ev­ery­thing is okay. If the time comes that you’re flooded, you’ll have sand­bags. The mayor even went on TV and said we have plenty of sand, call 311 and we’ll de­liver sand­bags. It never hap­pened.”

Then in May, when the sand­bags were needed most, they found out the bags which were stored in a bor­ough ware­house, had been 'de­stroyed due to tak­ing up too much space'. Mayor Beis has since ad­mit­ted it was a mis­take.

Alain Furlano, another mem­ber of the group su­ing the bor­ough and whose home was se­verely dam­aged, be­lieves the bor­ough's pri­or­ity is 'mak­ing the sure the dike is re­paired to en­sure there is not a re­peat of last year's sit­u­a­tion - and that sand­bags will 'not be enough hold back the ris­ing wa­ters'.

The group also claims that there used to be a bar­rier block­ing the wa­ter, lead­ing from train tracks ad­ja­cent to their street into a nearby for­est, but at one point over the past few decades, a large part of it was taken away.

With me­te­o­rol­o­gists fore­cast­ing a risk of flood­ing again this spring, Pier­re­fonds-Roxboro res­i­dents are hop­ing mea­sures will be put in place - well be­fore they find them­selves in the same sit­u­a­tion.

Some Res­i­dents along the wa­ter on the West is­land were forced to leave their homes dur­ing the flood in May

By: Bon­nie Wurst / mtl­times.ca

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