Record flooding affects over 100 Terrasse-Vaudreuil households
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
Over 100 residences in the small Île-Perrot municipality of Terrasse-Vaudreuil have been affected by record high water levels as Vaudreuil Bay overflowed its banks and caused unprecedented flooding along several side streets north of 1st Boulevard.
About 12 houses had to be evacuated as they were partially submerged by up to three feet of water, said Terrasse-Vaudreuil Director General Ron Kelley. Many other homeowners who live a few meters away from the bay spent the past several days watching their sandbag dikes and water pumps to minimize the damage from basement seepage.
The peak water level recorded on Monday and Tuesday measured 24.66 metres, 1.3 meters higher than the 23.3 metres when flooding first begins. “The level we were at on Monday and Tuesday was the highest since 1920 when records were first kept from the Canadian statistics that we have,” Kelley told Your Local Journal. “The second highest level was in 1976 when the water rose just one foot below our current record flood level.”
The rising water was first noticed in early April when the town advised everyone in the flood zone to prepare to take action. “We began preparing at least two to three weeks beforehand to tell our citizens about the situation. We started to bring in sandbags a long time ago and have given out tens of thousands of them,” said Kelley.
Prime Minister Trudeau visits area
He noted the municipality has received consistent support from Vaudreuil-Soulanges federal MP Peter Schiefke who was on site helping the flood relief effort and filling sandbags. “Mr. Schiefke has been in contact with Mayor Michel Bourdeau every day and has given us incredible support,” said Kelley.
PHOTO BY ADAM SCOTTI
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (with shovel) helps Vaudreuil-Soulanges MP Peter Schiefke (in yellow) make sandbags to help the flooded residents in Terrasse-Vaudreuil Sunday, May 7.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also visited on the weekend to provide emotional support and help fill sandbags. Kelley also noted that provincial Vaudreuil Liberal MNA Marie-Claude Nichols and Soulanges Liberal MNA Lucie Charlebois have also been extremely helpful and pledged assistance to the affected residents.
The community centre will remain open at least until Sunday, May 14, to keep helping residents in the disaster zone. “For people who can’t come to the centre, we’re bringing them food because they don’t want to leave their pumps. On Tuesday night, we delivered at least 90 meals,” said Kelley.
The town has applied for financial assistance from the provincial government and will inform residents of the procedure to follow after the situation improves. “A meeting has already been planned but we’re still waiting to set a date,” said Kelley.
Pincourt extends state of emergency
The state of emergency that was enacted officially by the Town of Pincourt last Sunday was extended for another five days to help officials continue to deal with the flooding situation along the Ottawa River adjacent to Chemin Duhamel, announced Mayor Yvan Cardinal at the Tuesday evening council meeting on May 9.
“We extended it as a precaution so that we can be prepared just in case something else happens,” Cardinal told Your Local Journal. “We are working with our fire and public security departments to maintain our dikes for now.”
While up to 30 houses were at risk of flooding, the town’s improvised system of sandbag dikes and pumping systems helped to keep the other houses dry so far. The dikes also help to keep its wastewater treatment facility from flooding, said Cardinal.
Like many other municipalities, the town closely monitored the situation along the river from mid-April when heavy rain began to fall by creating dikes behind some houses on Duhamel. Their height was regularly adjusted as the water level continued to rise. “This is the best thing we ever did. No one was evacuated,” said Cardinal.
See more images from the flooding in Terrasse-Vaudreuil here