Vaudreuil-Dorion prepares for clean-up as record flood waters start to recede
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
The water at rue Léger near Saint-Charles Avenue is receding but Mayor Guy Pilon said volunteers will be needed to help with clean-up efforts.
Unprecedented flooding last weekend affected several portions of Vaudreuil-Dorion as record high water levels from Vaudreuil Bay flowed inland and submerged a large portion Saint-Charles Avenue closing sections of the major two-way artery next to Parc de la paix for at least three days.
Detours were set up to allow motorists to avoid the area only to reveal other portions of other streets that flooded, such as Boulevard Cité-des-Jeunes and Rue Jeanotte. The Quinchien River also spilled its banks and rose to reach the bottom portion of the small span that straddles Saint-Charles near Rue Saint-Michel which flooded at least two local businesses.
Mayor Guy Pilon said about 50 houses were affected by the flooding throughout the city, some from the rising water level near the shoreline, while others further inland had water seep into their basements because of the oversaturated soil.
Water level starting to recede
“The good news now is the water level is decreasing now every day,” Pilon told Your Local Journal. “The main thing now is that everything is under control and I hope there are better days in front of us that will help us to relax a bit more.”
Pilon also expressed relief that the Galipeault Bridge along Autoroute 20 that was closed last Sunday evening was reopened on Tuesday afternoon which helped to ease the traffic flow in and around the city.
Many motorists diverted from their regular commuter routes to reach Autoroute 40 to navigate through Vaudreuil-Dorion, which is the only other major artery from the off-island that crosses onto the Island of Montreal.
The return to a normal traffic flow helped area motorists better navigate through the flooded areas as city streets were clogged with a large amount of traffic as non-residents drove through the city to reach Île-Perrot.
Amazing volunteer effort
Pilon expressed admiration at the number of volunteers who showed up at city hall last weekend to help fill sandbags and provide assistance to residents who were affected by the flood. “We had a great response from our volunteers. It was amazing to see,” he said.
“It was a bad thing with the flooding but we had an incredible amount of support from all our volunteers. There were hundreds of people who came day after day to help with their pick-ups to move things and other people brought food. It made us realize what an amazing community we have,” said Pilon.
As the water eventually recedes, Pilon said the clean-up phase is next on the agenda. “We had a lot of volunteers who helped during the flooding and we hope to have a lot of people help during the clean-up.”
Information session planned
The city is also planning on holding a public information session within the next few weeks for residents affected by the flooding to advise them of the disaster relief program that is being offered by the provincial government.
Residents who want to take advantage of the program must first register with the city, said Pilon.
“Our next challenge is make sure these people get the all the help they need. We’re working with provincial Minister of Public Security and we will present all the information at the information meeting.”
See more photos of the Vaudreuil-Dorion flood here