Still no answers from province on 2017 flood compensation
PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG
Many flood victims such as Kip Caudrey continue to wait for answers and compensation related to the 2017 floods.
For Kip and Michele Caudrey, getting answers from the Ministère de la Sécurité Publique (MSP) as to when and how much compensation they will be paid for 2017 flood damage to the house thye own on Baie Quesnel Road in Rigaud has become an endless story of frustration and stress. Not to mention having to deal with the 2019-flooding event.
“It’s a very complicated and lengthy story,” Kip Caudrey told The Journal on Monday, July 1. According to Caudrey, the 2017 floodwaters inundated the crawl space under the house damaging electrical wiring and destroying everything stored in the space. “That required extensive clean-up and replacement work,” he said. “Part of the work meant sanitizing to prevent mould.” Although the house is not their principle residence, it is the home of a family member.
Complicated compensation process
Because the house is situated on a rise in the landscape, the main floor of the home – for the most part – escaped damage.
“The water was up to about chest level surrounding the house,” said Caudrey. Making a claim with the MSP was a lengthy and complicated procedure as he described it.
“We received some compensation at the beginning,” he said but after that point, the process became frustratingly difficult. He provided the MSP with receipts and invoices for the required work and filled out the requisite forms. At the request of the MSP, French drains were installed around three sides of the house and the concrete block foundation was sealed. Caudrey said there is approximately $30,000 worth of expenses from the 2017 flood and he hopes to receive compensation for 75 percent of the amount based on the rules.
In January 2018, Caudrey was told by the MSP his dossier was under review. In the autumn of 2018, he was told by the MSP that everything in his file was in order. Since that time, whenever he asked for an update as to whether or not or when he will receive payment, he has received the same response. “We’ve been stonewalled,” said Caudrey.
In April 2019, further delays on his file were blamed on the recurring flood event. He was told everyone was occupied responding to that emergency. “We haven’t filled out the forms, yet,” he said, adding he was aware of the end of July deadline.
Local deputy’s office disappoints
Hoping to get some assistance, Caudrey contacted the office of the Deputy for Soulanges Marilyne Picard.
“I am extremely disappointed about their response,” he said. “I met with an English-speaking person in her office who promised to contact the MSP and get back to me in 24 hours. That didn’t happen, nobody called back.” Caudrey called the office again and a similar promise was made and not followed up on. As of press time, Picard’s office had not responded to The Journal.
Caudrey spoke highly of the support from the Red Cross and the Town of Rigaud.
“I think the mayor is doing everything he can to help everyone in the same situation as ourselves,” said Caudrey.
There are approximately 140 files from the 2017 flood that have not been completed according to Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr.
“There are about 50 or 60 files like Caudrey’s,” said Gruenwald on Tuesday, July 2. “Everything has been done and it’s in the hands of the MSP,” he added.
“I’m meeting with Marilyne Picard Wednesday afternoon. We will be discussing these matters.”
For the Caudrey couple and many others, the stress and frustration of not having a clear and decisive answer continues.