Montreal

Flood seals the deal for couple soon to say 'I do'

Elizabeth Tomaras's wedding day is just days away, but she and her fiancé Claude Richard have spent the week trying to save their new home in Vaudreuil, Que., from flooding.

‘I know he’s the one,’ says Elizabeth Tomaras, who’s been watching her fiancé try to save their new home

Elizabeth Tomaras and Claude Richard will tie the knot on Saturday, but final wedding plans have taken a back seat to their flooded new home. (submitted by Elizabeth Tomaras)

Elizabeth Tomaras is getting ready for the biggest day of her life — her wedding day on Saturday.

But even though it's only days away, her wedding is not on her mind at all right now.

She and her fiancé Claude Richard have spent every day and night this week trying to save the new home they bought together to begin their new life.

"It started a week before our wedding," Tomaras told CBC Radio One's Daybreak.

"By Thursday, there was literally a waterfall shooting out of the corner of the basement, where the wall and the ceiling meet. By Friday, the situation was pretty intense. We had three pumps in the basement keeping the water out."

Tomaras and Richard bought a home two months ago in Vaudreuil, Que., just off the western tip of the island of Montreal. It's close to the hardest-hit flood zones.

By the middle of the night on Saturday, water was gushing in through the basement windows.

The dress, the shoes, the veil … everything is dry.- Elizabeth  Tomaras , flood victim and bride-to-be

"It's quite scary to see water pouring into your house, and you're trying to control it and you can't," she said.

As the weekend progressed, the bride- and groom-to-be watched their basement fill up with water almost a metre deep.

"The pumps weren't working, so firefighters got a big gas-powered pump and that cleared the basement in no time," Tomaras said.

From flooding to  CO poisoning

But trying to clean up one problem only created another one.

"Unfortunately, it was also pumping carbon monoxide into the house."

The couple spent all day Sunday stacking up more sandbags, "unknowing that our house was basically being poisoned."

The carbon monoxide detector went off and firefighters showed up, tested the air quality in the home and ordered them to leave.

"Firefighters said, 'You need to leave your house now. If you spend the night, you will die.'"

"Had it not been for that carbon monoxide detector, let's just say who knows what would have happened."

The couple returned to their house the next day to find their basement submersed.

"The basement is totally flooded from floor to ceiling. Everything is underwater down there, and there's a good five inches of water in the living room as well. The living room is directly on top of the basement," Tomaras said.

Luckily, her wedding dress was not in the house.

"The dress, the shoes, the veil, it's all at my parents' house. Everything is dry."

Tomaras says the flood is adding "a little more stress" to the wedding plans, but it's made her fall more in love with her fiancé.

"He has just been incredible the way he worked all weekend, on little to no sleep, little food," she said.

"After all this, I know he's the one. Let's just say that."

With files from CBC's Daybreak

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