• John Jantak

Ste. Anne’s appeals for cash donations after food bank flooded


PHOTO COURTESY VILLE DE SAINTE-ANNE-DE-BELLEVUE

Flood water pushes debris up against the only recently relocated Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue foodbank, leading to the loss of about $6,000 worth of food supplies and shelving.

Ste. Anne de Bellevue Mayor Paola Hawa is asking residents to consider making cash donations to help its food bank recover from a devastating loss of provisions after flood waters ravaged its basement headquarters on Rue Ste. Anne last weekend.

About $6,000 worth of food and other essential supplies such as toilet paper were destroyed. The food bank is also scouting for a new location so it can reopen as quickly as possible. Sturdy aluminium shelf units are also needed to replace the old wooden storage shelves that have become useless because of flood water contamination, said Hawa.

“The irony is that the food bank has been around for 30 years to help our citizens in need and now the food bank needs help from our citizens,” Hawa told Your Local Journal. “We hope that people will be generous because the food bank is not only there for moments like this; they help people 365 days a year.”

Donations to the food bank can be made directly at the Harpell Centre at 60 Rue St. Pierre. For more information, contact the Harpell Centre at (514) 457-1605 or Ste. Anne Parish (Monday to Thursday) at (514) 457-5499.

Flood waters stable

After watching flood waters rise throughout the weekend, the water level finally stabilized on Monday. “There are no more evacuations,” said Hawa. “The people who have been fighting the water are obviously exhausted,” said Hawa.

PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

A resident on rue St. Joachim worked to fend off encroaching flood waters.

“All we can do now is wait for Mother Nature to do her thing and hopefully the water will recede shortly, but that’s all a matter of perspective especially for the people who have been affected by the flood who are going through this awful time,” Hawa added.

At least 100 households have been affected and about 60 people have had to leave their homes. A senior citizens’ residence was also evacuated and many residents have been temporarily relocated to Ste. Anne’s Hospital.

In addition to Rue Ste. Anne, other streets affected along the shoreline and further inland just north of the Galipeault Bridge include Rue St. Joachim, Rue Crevier and the bottom portion of Rue Grier next to Parc Godin where overflowing water flooded lower-level garages.

Many residents and volunteers were kept busy as water levels rose throughout the weekend, protecting their properties with sandbags and water pumps to keep their basements dry. In Ste. Anne village, water from Lac St. Louis covered portions of the waterfront boardwalk and several businesses along Rue Ste. Anne were using pumps to remove water from their basements.

Provincial government assistance

The provincial government held a special information meeting on Tuesday evening to outline the disaster relief measures that are being made available to residents affected by the flood, said Hawa.

“The meeting hall was packed and a lot of people were very anxious. They heard about the program and about the assistance that will be available to them. Many people were relieved that there is something being done that will help them,” said Hawa.

The unprecedented natural disaster also means that Ste. Anne and neighbouring West Island municipalities will have to seriously take into consideration the consequences of building close to water or within flood plains. “From what I’ve heard from people who have lived here for generations is that they’ve never seen anything like this before,” said Hawa.

“Building next to water may be nice and it increases property values, but we’ll have to evaluate the risk with this kind of development especially along the waterfront and in flood plains. We have to take a long-range view which is something we’re not doing right now. All the municipalities around us are under the same pressure to build close to water,” said Hawa.

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