Municipalities praise employees and volunteers for flood relief effort
PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG
Liberal MP Peter Schiefke (right) cheers on a young helper in Hudson as area residents gathered to make sandbags to help in flood prevention efforts.
Lessons learned from the unprecedented flooding in Vaudreuil-Dorion, Terrasse-Vaudreuil, Ste. Anne de Bellevue and Hudson helped the municipalities to minimize the effects of this year’s floods which surpassed the level recorded two years ago.
Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Guy Pilon said preparatory work ahead of the anticipated flooding which began more than two weeks ago helped to minimize damage. The Mayor credits Olivier Van Neste, the City’s Director of Development and Planning for taking a proactive approach to the flooding which helped minimize its severity. Pilon also thanked all city employees for their help to keep the town dry.
PHOTO BY CARMEN MARIE FABIO
Despite the drizzle, cold temperatures, and high winds, over 500 people of all ages were on hand Saturday, April 27 at the old Flying J location in Vaudreuil-Dorion to help fill sandbags for flood victims.
Great admiration for employees and volunteers
“I have a great admiration for all the employees and people who worked on the floods,” said Pilon. “I’m really proud of Mr. Van Neste who was in charge of all the security. They did a great job working with the directors and everyone responsible for the civil protection of our city. I’m amazed by all the work that was done by our team.”
He also thanked the hundreds of volunteers who helped in the flood relief effort. “Wow! On Saturday over 500 people registered to come and help us, especially on Saturday morning when it was raining like hell. We had 100 people and it grew from there. We filled at least 13,000 sandbags,” said Pilon.
“On Sunday we had to stop at noon because at that point we had enough bags but people were still coming to help. There were a bit over 300 people and they put sand into another 8,000 bags. I’m so proud of the community in Vaudreuil-Dorion and the people who came from other areas. It’s amazing how the people responded to our request and came to help us,” added Pilon.
Mayor Michel Bourdeau said residents were better prepared to deal with the flooding this year compared to 2017.
“In 2017, the flood waters came up within one day. This year we were able to prepare at least five days in advance because the water rose slowly. There was no advance notice in 2017. This is what made the difference this year,” said Bourdeau.
The mayor also praised the work done by his city’s employees and the volunteers who have helped in the flood relief efforts. “The volunteers have been absolutely fantastic. They have helped us in an incredible way by helping people affected by this disaster. They filled sandbags, helped to deliver them and are still supporting us right now,” said Bourdeau.
Ste. Anne de Bellevue
Ste. Anne’s Mayor Paola Hawa credited her public works employees for their unrelenting effort in keeping the city dry.
“There was a diver who put the plugs into the storm sewer system that leads into the Lake of Two Mountains. That stopped the water from the lake from flowing back in the system. That helped a lot and so did the sandbagging,” she said.
“Our municipal employees are awesome. They’re a small group who work well together. They had shifts on-site 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. They always go above-and-beyond especially in times like this,” added Hawa.
Citizens, volunteers and athletes praised
Special mention was also made regarding the efforts made by the citizens, volunteers and especially the Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Rugby Football Club for their help as well. “I’ve got to tell you, those young men and women from the rugby football club showed up en force to help and they are a treasure, especially their leader, Martin Silverstone.
“Marty is not only teaching the players how to play a sport, he’s also teaching them how to be members of a community and they are awesome. I can’t say enough great things about these people,” Hawa added.
Hudson Mayor Jamie Nicholls, in a text message and Facebook personal message wrote, “I want to thank the generosity of all the volunteers who came to help out their neighbours. This show of compassion is what binds our community with each other. We are all connected.”
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