Montreal

Faces of the flood: Personal stories from Quebec's hardest-hit zones

Here is what some flooding victims in affected areas across Quebec told CBC about what they’ve lost, their efforts to save what’s left and how they’re helping each other.

Victims across Quebec say they are ‘tired and fed up’ of continuous rain, rising water levels

Gilles Chaloux, who lives in Argenteuil, Que., holds back tears while saying he hasn't slept in days due to the flooding. (Radio-Canada)

Record rainfall amounts and fast-rising water levels across southern Quebec have left people in more than 120 municipalities dealing with some of the worst flooding they've seen in decades.

By Friday, as some bridges and roads continued to erode and authorities urged people to leave their homes, Quebec called in the Canadian Armed Forces for assistance.

The hardest hit areas include the cities of Montreal and Laval, as well as the parts of the Montérégie, Mauricie, Lanaudière and the Laurentians.

Here is what some flooding victims in those areas told CBC about what they've lost, their efforts to save what's left and how they're helping each other.

Gabriel Bergeron in Rigaud (Montérégie)

(CBC)

"It's tough to deal with. There's a lot of water. I had to use a boat to commute back home for a couple of times. It's not fun, that's for sure. I had two Ski-Doos that went under water. I had my little convertible car that got water just under the steering wheel, a lawnmower tractor — a bunch of stuff that can't be covered [by insurance] so it sucks."

Jean Ouellette on Île Mercier (Montreal)

Jean Ouellette's home has a generator, pumps and is surrounded by sandbags. Ouellette says he is working around the clock to keep up with the rising water levels. (Elias Abboud/CBC)

Jean Ouellette lives on Île Mercier, a small island just south of Île Bizard. The island's only bridge connecting it to Île Bizard is underwater. Authorities are worried the span is deteriorating and may soon be unfit for cars and trucks to use.

"The bridge is going and they're asking everybody to go. I have a generator, I have pumps. I built a wall around my house. I'm OK, but I need more bags, and we've been waiting all day yesterday to get more bags, and I had to go buy more bags myself yesterday. My neighbour had to go. A Good Samaritan with his pickup truck helped us carry bags.... There is a bit of anger. The city won't even give any more sandbags. So I'm going to go buy some, bring them in my car, and we're going to get a boat bring them to people.

Sylvie Blackburn and Martin St-Pierre on Île Mercier (Montreal)

(CBC)

"The pump is running. I don't have a basement, I have a crawlspace so the water comes in faster. There's nothing to hold it so six inches and it's in the house," said Blackburn.

Her boyfriend Martin St-Pierre is lending a hand.

(CBC)
"This is my girlfriend's place. That's all she's got ... I stay there all night. I get up every two hours to go check my stuff. That's what I do all day too. I try my best to save my girlfriend's place. So that is where we are at."

Gilles Chaloux in Argenteuil (Laurentians)

(Radio-Canada)

"We are fed up. We are really very tired. We don't sleep the nights."

Georges Robidoux on Île Mercier (Montreal)

(Radio-Canada)

"I find it very difficult to be forced to leave my home and to see all my things that will be ruined. I will have to spend weeks on repairing and decontaminating my house."

Roger Léonard in Argenteuil (Laurentians)

(Radio-Canada)

"I did not want to leave my house but with the water constantly rising, I didn't have a choice. I was obligated to leave. The water is always rising. It rose in my basement. There was no other solution but to leave."​

With files from Elias Abboud, Alison Northcott, Jessica Rubinger, Jay Turnbull and Radio-Canada

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