After 15 years of struggle, the residents of the Lorette River have had enough of living in fear of a flood and are asking that the anti-flood wall promised for years be finally installed.
“Can we fix this once and for all?” And the rest of us are going to sleep peacefully. Fifteen years of my life mortgaged for it. I would close the books. Temporary measures are temporary. In the heavy rains, we are always there, watching the river. ”
In an interview with the Journal , Denis Lavoie speaks on his behalf and on behalf of the dozens of citizens who have been affected by the overflows of the Lorette River. The first major incident occurred on September 26, 2005. It will be 15 years, to the day, tomorrow.
Cry of the heart
In a public outing and an opinion letter, the president of the Regroupement Sinistrés Entraide launches a cry from the heart so that the anti-flood wall be installed by spring. It will permanently protect the residences from the ups and downs of the river.
“Provincial and municipal authorities must“ get wet ”once and for all. Me, it has already happened on a few occasions, ”he quipped in his letter.
The solution came very close to materializing in 2017, but the City of Quebec, following the recommendations made by the Office of Public Hearings on the Environment, deemed the work too expensive.
Since then, radio silence, deplores Mr. Lavoie. “It's so hard to talk to someone! ”
The agglomeration of Quebec has already invested more than $ 40 million for various improvements: new pumping station, two retention basins, two reconstructed bridges. These infrastructures have helped, agrees Denis Lavoie.
The City also paid $ 15 million in compensation for the 2005 flood. A recourse is still pending for the 2013 flood.
But the piece de resistance, the anti-flood wall, which would allow residents to sleep soundly, is still desirable.
In the meantime, as he has been doing for the past fifteen years, Mr. Lavoie is plugged into the weather forecast. He gets up at night with other neighbors to do a round of surveillance during heavy rains.
The sandbags, installed without authorization by the former mayor of L'Ancienne-Lorette, Émile Loranger, in 2013, are still in place, a temporary solution that has become permanent.
The citizens who have tolerated this dyke on their land for years are fed up with it, slips the president of the Regroupement. Some have threatened to remove it, if nothing moves.
In the neighborhood, we are worried about the loss of value of houses.
“Everyone is tired,” drops Denis Lavoie. “We are tired of being in the dark. May they do the most sacred work. What are they waiting for? The elections ? It shouldn't be an election issue. ”
Questions were put to the Labeaume administration in February. The victims are still waiting for answers. “I am surprised to have no feedback after 15 years. It's a matter of public safety, ”drops Denis Lavoie.