Montreal

'I just want to give up': Cleaning flood zones in Montreal will take weeks

After several weeks of spring flooding, water levels are slowly receding in most of southern Quebec, but that doesn’t mean affected residents can simply pick up where they left off. There is still plenty of work to do and Montreal’s is no exception.

Montrealers look to the future after an extremely wet spring

With a broom in hand and a dust mask strapped to his face, Richard Proulx was out cleaning up his property on Monday in Île Bizard. (CBC)

After several weeks of spring flooding, water levels are slowly receding in most of southern Quebec, but that doesn't mean affected residents can simply pick up where they left off.

There is still plenty of work to do and Montreal's Île Bizard is no exception.

With a push broom in hand and a dust mask strapped to his face, Richard Proulx was out cleaning his property on Monday.

The water on his street went down over the long May weekend, so he returned home after staying with friends for two weeks.

Richard Proulx says he's ready to accept a provincial buyout so he can move far away from the river. (CBC)

This is the second time Proulx has lived through flooding on his street in three years and the situation is taking its toll.

"I just want to give up," he told CBC Montreal. "I don't want to live that anymore."

Proulx said he is not thinking about the future and he may accept the provincial government's offer to buyout homes in flood zones.

He's not sure where he'd move, but it would definitely be far from the river, he said with a smile.

While his street is drying up, others on Île Bizard are still flooded.

Île-Bizard-Sainte-Geneviève borough mayor Normand Marinacci says residents like Proulx are not alone — it's been a tough spring for many but, with water levels going down, he expects the situation to gradually return to normal in the coming days.

Île-Bizard-Sainte-Geneviève borough mayor Normand Marinacci says the spring has been hard on many residents and the cleanup will not happen overnight. (CBC)

"Remember, in 2017, it came fast, by surprise, but the water left fast," he recounted. "This year, it's lingering — it's long."

Once the water does finally drain, next comes the cleanup, he said, and that's expected to take weeks.

People across the bridge in the borough of Pierrefonds-Roxboro are in the same boat. It has put out a call for volunteers to help with the cleanup next weekend.

With files from Matt D'Amours

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