Montreal

100s across Quebec still can't return home due to flooding

The Red Cross has begun distributing money collected during the flood relief campaign and is still paying to house 335 families in hotels.

Red Cross still paying to house more than 300 families affected by spring floods

Pierrefonds-Roxboro resident Nick Cai has been staying in a hotel since early May, unable to return home to his flooded property. (Charles Contant/CBC)

Hundreds of Quebec families are still unable to return home due to last month's heavy flooding.

The Red Cross is helping temporarily lodge 335 Quebec families in hotels.

One of them is Nick Cai, a Montrealer who's lived in Pierrefonds-Roxboro for seven years.

He's been staying in hotels with his wife and two children since early May, and he has no idea when he'll be able to go home.

"We cannot think too far, we just think where we're going to live next week. That's the reality," he told CBC.

Nick Cai shows a photo of the water levels in his Roxboro neighbourhood during the height of the flood. (CBC)

Cai says his family's continued stay at the hotel is up in the air, and they routinely must go back to the Red Cross information centre to extend it.

"In the last few weeks, we transferred to four different hotels already," he said. "It's difficult because the kids still go to school, and the little ones go to daycare."

Red Cross still trying to meet demand

Even though the waters have receded in many of the affected areas, houses are still flooded in Saint-Ludger-de-Milot and Sainte-Jeanne-d'Arc, Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, Yamachiche, Louiseville, Maskinongé, and the Mauricie.

The hundreds of people still in hotels don't include flood victims staying with friends or family outside the flood zones or who were able to find shelter elsewhere.

Nick Cai is one of the flood victims who cannot return to his damaged home. (Charles Contant/CBC)

The Red Cross is continuing to operate its emergency centres in Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Deux-Montagnes, Gatineau, Laval, Luskville, Pierrefonds-Roxboro, Rigaud, Saint-André-d'Argenteuil and Vaudreuil-Dorion.

As of May 30, the provincial government had received 2,300 requests for financial aid and dolled out $11.5 million.

Flooded for 50 days

Saint-Barthélemy resident Monia Lacasse has been dealing with flooding since April 7.

Her house stands on the bank of the St. Lawrence and it's been a daily challenge to keep the water levels under control.

Monia Lacasse has been dealing with flooding since April 7. (Radio-Canada/Marilyn Marceau)

Lacasse has two pumps going day and night in her basement. At the height of the floods, she had nine pumps and 450 sandbags surrounding the house.

"Nights are stressful when you don't hear the sound of your pumps or the flow in the pipes, or you hear waves breaking on your house," she told Radio-Canada.

For now, Lacasse says "the return to normal is still far away."

At its worst, Monia Lacasse needed nine pumps going day and night in her home on the banks of the St. Lawrence. (Submitted by Monia Lacasse)

With files from Antoni Nerestant

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