Citizens will clean up without the army
While Lake Saint-Pierre’s water level is declining very slowly, many municipalities and towns in the area are asking their citizens to wait a little longer before starting to clean their land after the floods. Local residents will also remove the sandbags from their property without the help of the army, which irritates some mayors of the region.
P read earlier this week, the Canadian Forces had indicated that the second mandate given to soldiers deployed in Quebec would be to remove the protective material (sand bags) critical infrastructure and to identify the main roads and bridges in municipalities affected. These operations will begin May 27 and will be spread over a period of 10 to 12 days. Between 130 and 150 soldiers will take part.
“It’s very disappointing, the army has let us down,” said Yvon Deshaies, Mayor of Louiseville. This is the time when we need them, when people are tired. “
The assistance requested by the citizens of his municipality to remove their sandbags will come from firefighters of the City of Louiseville, which represents for the latter additional costs. SOS Flood Mauricie is also expected to help, but Deshaies still does not know how many volunteers will come. The cleaning will also have to wait at least another week, since 75 houses are still flooded and 89 are isolated in Louiseville.
The mayor of Bécancour, Jean-Guy Dubois, is also disappointed with this decision, but says he is not surprised. “They (the soldiers) have to prioritize and these priorities are mostly in the Outaouais,” he says. But they confirmed that they would not intervene on private land. I would have liked it, for sure, but I’m not surprised, because it’s not their duty. ”
The City invites citizens who have picked up debris left on their property by the water to put them on the edge of the street, since it will start picking them up next week. However, residents are advised to leave sandbags in place to protect homes from flooding. The City will begin picking up those who have been put on the edge of the street as of May 27th. The Ecocentre ENFOUIBEC is also open for free from Monday to Saturday.
In Nicolet, where 90 residences are still flooded and two are isolated, the cleaning will also have to wait another good week. In the absence of the army, the city turned to the Quebec National Police School.
“We are in the process of discussing to see if it is possible to release candidates to help the citizens,” says Mayor Geneviève Dubois. We should have news next week. ”
Forty future police officers have already put their hands in the dough, a few weeks ago, to make bags of sand. In all, 43,000 of these bags were distributed and installed on the territory of the city.
For his part, the mayor of Maskinongé, Roger Michaud, said he was surprised by this decision of the army, which he says he was not informed. “I did not have this information, that we would not have help for our citizens,” he says. The chief magistrate, however, does not go too far. “Of course it would be a plus for the citizens, but if we do not have it (this help), we will help them ourselves (the municipality).”
If water seems very slow to drop in Lake Saint-Pierre, the Civil Security ensures that the flood period is over, despite the melting snow which increases the flow of rivers in the Haute-Mauricie and announced rain for Sunday and Monday.
“We are really in a recovery period,” says Sebastien Doire, Regional Director of Civil Security. Yes, there is still snow and ice in Haute-Mauricie, but it does not have a significant impact. For rivers in this area, it’s going very well, we are under the alert thresholds. It’s very positive. “