Volunteers lend a hand as flood clean up begins for hard-hit communities
100s expected to turn up in Laval, Deux-Montagnes, Île-Bizard, Saint-Anne-de-Bellevue over weekend
Several communities in and around the island of Montreal are asking for help this long weekend to collect thousands of sandbags and clear the debris left behind by heavy flooding that began in early May.
City officials in Laval say about 400 people have already signed up for their massive post-flood clean up that begins on Saturday.
Laval deputy mayor David De Cotis said this is an opportunity for members of the community to band together in a time of need.
He added the clean up will be a big job.
"We have over 374 tonnes of debris that's affected different homes, in the different areas," he said. "The need is there."
The volunteers will be sent to Fabreville, Sainte-Rose, Sainte-Dorothée, Chomedey and Laval-Ouest.
The clean up in Laval will continue on Sunday and De Cotis said there is still time to sign up.
Volunteers are asked to call the city ahead to register and be available to work for at least five hours during the day.
Volunteers to be dispatched in Deux-Montagnes
The city of Deux-Montagnes, which is located just northwest of Montreal, said volunteers are much needed this Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
On one property alone 2,000 sandbags need to be collected.
"It's physical work, clearing out homes, taking out furniture," said Marie-Claude Lacroix, who works with the city's recreation department.
Lacroix said anyone who calls the city over the weekend will be dispatched to an area in need. She said it would be best if volunteers could bring their own gloves and masks, since the city is beginning to run out.
Clean ups in other communities
Île Bizard has organized two volunteer shifts for Sunday — from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Anyone interested in lending a hand is asked to contact the borough ahead of time at 514-620-7277 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The borough is asking that volunteers be at least over the age of 16, in good physical condition and to be wearing closed-toe or construction boots.
Pierrefonds is organizing a clean up on May 27. The borough of Pierrefonds-Roxboro is asking volunteers to register through their website by Wednesday at midnight. Volunteers will be contacted with details on Friday.
With files from Matt D'Amours