6 months after spring flooding inundated rue St-François-Xavier in Gatineau, the scars remain
Six months after heavy rains and spring flooding devastated parts of our region, some residents are still cleaning up.
Some streets may never be the same.
CBC Radio's Ontario Morning visited rue St-François-Xavier to take stock, and found a once-lively corner of Gatineau full of empty lots and boarded-up houses.
Now, as winter sets in, some of the residents who stayed behind are still waiting for their flood-ravaged homes to be demolished. Others continue to make repairs, hoping to be finished in time for the cold weather.
Gilles Gagné finishes repairs to his father's house on rue St-François-Xavier, one of the last homes on the block that's still standing after last spring's flooding.
Jean-Jacques Gagné, 72, has lived on rue St-François-Xavier since he got married in 1967. His home was badly damaged and he lost thousands of dollars worth of tools in his garage, but he's staying. As many as 12 houses on his block alone are gone. "We were good neighbours.... We all look out for each other, and we all know each other." Where have they all gone now? "I have no idea."
A peek through the door of 53 rue St-François-Xavier reveals the devastation faced by many home owners.
Rue St-François-Xavier resident Marianne St-Jean, whose home was badly damaged in the flood, is still waiting for money from the government to help pay for repairs. Many of her neighbours have given up and left. "It was sad to see everybody go. Everybody cried."
An excavator fills in the foundation of a demolished home on rue St-François-Xavier, leaving another one of dozens of empty lots where houses once stood.
Jonathan Brennan looks at the vacant lot that's now where his neighbour's home once stood. Brennan was one of the lucky ones — the foundation of his house on St-François-Xavier was higher than many others. Still, despite a two-metre wall of sandbags and five pumps, water seeped in, causing some damage.
Even where houses no longer stand, mailboxes remain to collect letters to residents who may never return to live on rue St-François-Xavier.
With files from Hallie Cotnam