Pontiac residents hit by spring flood worried as winter approaches
Six months after flood, residents waiting on government to issue demolition permits
Winter and its frigid temperatures are fast approaching, and Pontiac, Que., residents, whose houses were hit by last spring's flooding, are worried about what's in store as temperatures continue to fall.
Twenty-three houses in Pontiac are set to be demolished because of flood damage, but only 12 demolition permits have been issued so far.
The ground floor of Robert Bergeron's house was flooded with water six months ago. The damage was bad enough that his home is now slated for demolition.
Bergeron is trying to convince the province of Quebec to increase compensation for his house. While that's up in the air, he's done some makeshift renovations to the building, like stuffing holes with wool to keep the cold out.
He recently learned that Quebec will not pay for work done to the house to help him stay there over the winter months.
"They do not pay for the wintering of the house, they pay nothing," he told Radio-Canada in French.
"I'm going to spend the winter here unless they kick me out," he said.
A slow process
Quebec residents in other cities whose homes were hit hard by floods have complained about the processing time of compensation claims and about the wait time for demolition permits.
The province has said it's doing the best it can to process all the flood damage claims in a timely manner. To try to speed things up, Quebec's public security minister has scheduled one-on-one meetings with claimants.
The department also stated that it responds to applications for temporary work grants on a case-by-case basis.
Pontiac itself said it has hired additional staff to speed up the processing for the 66 families affected by the spring floods.