Certain Pierrefonds-Roxboro residents are recovering from the repercussions of excessive flooding between First and Third Avenues North in Roxboro.
On June 16th, Karen Benoit, a resident on First Avenue in the Borough, noticed that water had infiltrated her basement. Soon four feet of water had inundated the basement and filled her parked car up to the steering wheel with water.
She had reported the flow of water at 4 o'clock. The fire department arrived at 6:15. The damage took its toll on "irreplaceable" antiques from 1947 that were in her home, as she estimates over $20,000 in losses and damages. Her insurance has lapsed, and damages are therefore not covered by an insurance policy.
PHOTO: Nicole Brad
Her friend has created a GoFundMe page to help repay the damages: https://www.gofundme.com/f/please-help-the-benoit-family
Mr. Maniatakos showed the West Island News around his Roxboro home, which was severely damaged by flooding on June 16th. The water that had flooded the street infiltrated his entire lower level, including the living room, garage, bathroom, and bedroom.
The flooding greatly impacted Mr. Maniatakos's home on First Avenue North, which he shares with his wife. They have been living there for eight years.
"There were two and a half feet of water at the garage door, and the water came in and overturned our freezer filled with food. What we've had to throw out is unbelievable; chesterfields, sofas, the solid hardwood floors; my wife was crying about the pictures she lost. Photos from when she was two until eighty years old have been destroyed."
He says it took the fire department an hour and a half to pump out all the water that had accumulated. He recalls the water as contaminated and believes it was rising out from the sewers.
"No city councillors, no politicians came to see what is happening. It has been 12 days, and believe me; I am going through hell," he stated.
The Mayor of the Pierrefonds-Roxboro Borough, Jim Beis, recalls the events of the 16th as an unprecedented meteorological surge.
"For the amount of rain we got on the 16th, we would need pipes almost ten feet in diameter. When you have that type of excessive rain, the capacity of the storm sewage system isn't large enough for the water to flow freely as it would under normal circumstances," Mayor Beis stated.
At 85 years of age, Mr. Maniatakos fears for his health and has uncovered mold that has developed in certain rooms. The financial burden is also troublesome for him and his wife.
"Today, I received my insurance company costs. Only $20,000 has been covered by the insurance. What's on the paper are only the material and labor costs. I estimate about $70,000 altogether with everything that has been lost."
Another resident, Monika Muna, who lives on Third Avenue North, claims her basement was under 3 feet of water. "Everything that was there was damaged and is unusable. This includes a T.V., a freezer, a home theatre system, furniture, most of my collection and a study room, some cameras, and more," wrote Mrs. Muna.
PHOTO: Facebook, Monika Muna
Mayor Beis claims that any city is not built for such a surge of rainwater: "Unfortunately, it is a natural occurrence where the infrastructure in any city wouldn't be sufficient enough to deal with that quantity of rainfall in such a short period. At the end of First Avenue, a pumphouse was functioning. Two larger backup pumps were started, understanding that the infrastructure was completely inundated with water."
For the residents impacted by the flooding, the Mayor mentioned an online resource: "The residents have 15 days from the event to file a claim if they feel as though the City is partly or wholly to blame for their issues. That information is found through the link where they may go and file the claim: montreal.ca/demarches/faire/une/reclamation/la/ville/de/montreal. Upon analysis, of course, it will allow them to claim money or not; it is within their full rights to file a claim with the City,"said Pierrefonds-Roxboro's Mayor Beis.
The Canadian Red Cross can be dispatched in times of crisis and is a resource available to those in need who lack housing or essential needs.
"Whenever there's a crisis, the Red Cross will make themselves available to provide the necessities; this could be resources, housing, or clothing," stated Mayor Beis.
This Red Cross Canada webpage walks flood victims through what actions can be taken before, during, and after a flood: https://www.redcross.ca/how-we-help/emergencies-and-disasters-in-canada/types-of-emergencies/floods