Vaudreuil-Dorion already preparing for possible spring floods

City will also provide firefighting services to Pointe-des-Cascades

PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Vaudreuil-Dorion council approved a resolution to rent 24 inflatable pneumatic plugs to prevent water back flows in its sewer system in case flooding recurs in the region again this spring.

The City of Vaudreuil-Dorion is not waiting to see if another flood may occur again along its shoreline with Vaudreuil Bay this spring. City council took a proactive stance and adopted a resolution during the Monday evening meeting on March 2 to set aside $40,000 for the rental of 24 inflatable pneumatic plugs for storm sewers.

The measure will ensure that the immense pressure from the large volume of water in the bay will not result in a back flow that that could gush upwards from sewers and spill further inland into the community as happened in the previous two floods in 2017 and 2019.

THE JOURNAL FILE PHOTO/JOHN JANTAK

A plastic-covered concrete barrier placed along Saint-Charles Avenue in Vaudreuil-Dorion in 2019 helped hold back the rising waters of Baie de Vaudreuil.

Insurance policy

For Mayor Guy Pilon, the plugs are kind of an insurance policy to make sure the city is even better prepared to deal with another possible flood emergency. The plugs are inserted into the sewers and inflated to block the pipe causing the backflow.

Pilon said the city’s experience with its two previous floods has made officials more conscientious about the necessity to prepare for another potential flood before it starts. The mayor noted the lessons learned from the 2017 flood were applied last year which resulted in substantially less flooding.

One major improvement in the city’s response to 2019 flood was to build a temporary 2.4 kilometre concrete dam that was sheathed in plastic and reinforced with sandbags to prevent spillage along a stretch of Avenue Saint-Charles. It kept the bay water away from the street unlike in 2017 when the road flooded and had to be closed for at least one week.

City more prepared

With the additional lessons learned from the 2019 flood, the city will be even more prepared to react quickly and keep flooding to an absolute minimum which is why the city decided to reserve their inflatable pneumatic plugs early, said Pilon. He noted municipalities that waited to order their plugs last year during the height of the flooding crisis had a hard time getting them.

“We used some plugs last year and we found they were very efficient. Now we know in which areas they should be installed, on which street and the pipes that have to be blocked. We were lucky we got them last year. This is why we’re reserving them ahead of time this year,” said Pilon. The plugs have been reserved for a one-month period – between mid-April and mid-May.

Firefighting services agreement

The city announced it has reached an agreement to provide firefighting services to the neighbouring municipality of Pointe-des-Cascades. With a population of 1,481 citizens in the town, Mayor Pilon said the agreement will not impact the ability of firefighters and first responders to answer emergency calls in Vaudreuil-Dorion.

Pilon added there’s a fire station on Route de Lotbinière just north of Harwood Boulevard a few kilometres away from Pointe-des-Cascades. The city also provides firefighting services to neighbouring Vaudreuil-sur-le-lac and l’Île-Cadieux.

Council also adopted a resolution to request a financial subsidy from the provincial Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l'Habitation to help the city defray the cost of building a new fire station on Route de Lotbinière. Construction of the new facility is expected to begin later this year and will be built to current standards, said Pilon.

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