On Sunday, Premier Francois Legault and Mayor Valerie Plante visited Île-Bizard to discuss the flood preparation plans as well as to laud the many volunteers, city employees and firefighters on hand helping to fill sand bags.
During the Premier’s remarks, army personnel arrived and as of press time, there are currently about 50 members of the Canadian Armed Forces from the Maisonneuve Regiment helping with stemming the flood risk for residents of Ile Bizard and nearby Ile Mercier as waters continue to rise.
Both Plante and Legault commented on the preparations already put in place underlining that this was not going to be 2017 because of the pre-planning.
“In Pierrefonds-Roxboro and Ile Bizard, we are ready. We have a window of about 72 hours to finish the prep that will hopefully have a positive impact on people’s houses,” Plante told reporters noting the window was because of the weather as there is a prediction of more rain this week and some flooding is expected.
“Yes we brought the army sooner than years before as we have to work on prevention as the peak is Wednesday,” Legault said.
“We have to be ready for the peak and ready to protect the more than 400 homes that had problems two years ago” said the premier adding that it “is nice to see people show up and volunteer to help others.”
“In 2017 we were in reactive mode where this time we are in preventative mode,” Plante added. Legault spoke about the Ministry of Public Security having changed its parameters for flood victims to get compensation faster from the government and that affected residents will not have to give receipts or work orders to get initial compensation.
The premier noted that a maximum compensation level will be given and homeowners in marked flood zones will “have a choice to to get that money or to invest in a new house somewhere else as flooding is becoming more repetitive” and that it cannot always be the burden of the taxpayer to compensate flood victims.
The CAQ government is also “defining flood zones as they have changed in the last five years to make sure new construction is not in flood zones,” Legault said.
For those who want to help with sandbag preparation in ice Bizard, it is happening at 500 Montée de L’eglise, behind the borough’s library.
Consult the borough’s website or Facebook for updates as the situation unfolds.