A demolition crew slowly tears down Véronique Ratelle’s family home in Ste-Marthe-sur-le-Lac. She must now find a place for her family to live until the reconstruction of her new house is complete.

Many residents of Ste-Marthe-sur-le-lac are still waiting on the city and the government in order to start getting their lives back to normal.

On April 27, residents of Ste-Marthe-sur-le-lac were evacuated after the dike gave out, allowing water to fill the streets and the homes of many. A lot of people lost their homes that day, some have yet to return, and others have just found out that they must leave again.

Véronique Ratelle, her partner and two children were among some of the families evacuated. They had to have their house demolished two weeks ago and won’t be able to rebuild until next spring. She was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and both of her children are still shaken by it. “My youngest, a five-years-old, is autistic and she fears the rain now, and keeps telling everyone at school that her house is broken and that there’s water inside,” says Ratelle.

Similarly, Jean-Guy Leprohon and his family must have their home demolished. He spent approximately $20,000 on repairs before the city sent an inspector to the house, who then deemed the house unsafe to live in. “My kids are devastated,” said Leprohon. “When I told them the news, they both started crying.” Leprohon plans to stay at his neighbour, Kim Doucet’s house during the demolition and rebuild, but that might not be possible.

Doucet is currently waiting to find out from the city if she too will be demolishing her house. “I noticed cracks in my foundation and they keep getting bigger,” said Doucet. “Water keeps coming into my basement, when it rains a lot, I can see it leaking in through the cracks. I don’t know what to do.” Doucet had contacted the city to ask if they could send an inspector over to the house to verify the safety of the house. “They told me that he would be over sometime during the week but it took longer than that,” said Doucet. “Now we have to wait until the city decides what to do with the house.” Doucet is worried, with the weather getting colder and the snowy season soon upon us, she doesn’t know what will happen. She doesn’t know if she will have a house this winter, and if the city decides to wait until spring to rebuild or renovate, she doesn’t know how she will get through the winter with the condition her house is in.

Retired couple Laura Mcguigan and Gaetan Chabot have also been having trouble with the city. “The city won’t even send us an inspector to check our house, but we’re pretty sure it should be demolished,” says Laura. “We probably shouldn’t be living here right now. We are packing boxes but don’t know where we’re going.”

They are amongst the many who no longer feel safe in their home and who are unsure of what the future holds. Many citizens feel that the city and the government aren’t communicating with them enough, they don’t have the proper information to take the step.

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