Shawinigan: disaster victims want answers

Shawinigan: des sinistrés veulent des réponses

SHAWINIGAN — A week after they have been victims of excesses of water, the residents of the streets Philibert-Dumas and Cyprian-Ducharme Shawinigan want answers from the City. They are presented in very large numbers on Tuesday for the public meeting of the city council with the hope of finally knowing the source of the problem.

The residents involved were so many that extra chairs have been installed. If normally a couple of people attending the public meeting of the municipal council of Shawinigan, there were about 70 citizens on Tuesday evening. The vast majority of the people present were there for the flooding of basements, streets Philibert-Dumas and Cyprian-Ducharme.

The 29th and 30th of April and the 1st may, in some cases, the basements of some forty houses of these streets of the sector, Shawinigan-Sud has been flooded. Some residents have even been woken up in the middle of the night by the water seeping in the basement.

For these residents, some of whom live in the district for twenty years, he was a first mishap with floods. They are after all in a quarter in height away from water courses.

“Each year, we have rain and heavy snows. But this is the first time that it happens,” said Tuesday night before the city council Jacques St-Louis, a resident of the rue Cyprien-Ducharme.

“It’s been a week that the victims are in the works. One must remove the bottom of the walls, to dry the basement and do a big cleaning. It is a painful situation.”

Sylvie Lefebvre is a recent resident of the sector to have suffered the inconvenience of the floods. She strongly denounced the response she has got from the City when she phoned on the 1st of may in the evening to indicate that she had water in her basement. “I am told that the network was full and to call back next day”, she mentioned to the elect by saying as fear now for his safety.

“For the first time since I live in this place, I question my safety.”

Moreover, one of the residents in the area said she was worried of the consequences of water damage on the assessment of his house. All the more that some posters advertising the houses for sale have been removed since the flood. The recent events are not conducive to real estate transactions in this sector, Shawinigan-South, is being told by a few people.

Shawinigan: des sinistrés veulent des réponses

Jean-Francois Nault, one of the many victims who took the floor.

Photo François Gervais

“My house just to take a shot. I will have to tell the buyers if I sell that there has been water. It’s going to lower its value”, is worried about Robert Poirier, a resident of 71 years of the rue Cyprien-Ducharme.

A great many of the town hall on Tuesday evening, the victims wish to get answers. They want to know the causes of the floods, but also what the City will do to correct the situation.

From the outset, the mayor of Shawinigan, Michel Angers, showed himself to be empathetic. “The city council is very sensitive to your situation,” he said in response to a question from the audience.

The mayor said that the public works have responded quickly by constructing a dam from the day after the beginning of the outbursts. “Pretty quickly, measures have been taken to stem the problem,” said Michel Angers.

A week after the flooding of basements, the cause of the problem, however, remains unknown. The City has already hired a hydrologist to determine its source. The latter has already begun its analysis.

“Nobody expected this as it happens to you. When it doesn’t happen for 20 years, we do not expect that to happen,” said the mayor.

Several residents felt to know the origin of the problem. A new residential complex located in close proximity would have, according to many, caused an overload of the network of evacuation of rainwater. “We went to notify the City last fall risks that this situation would lead to,” said Dany-Lyne Monfette, a resident of the area. “Well, we have seen what it does in the spring.”

Once the source of the problem identified, the mayor ensures that the City will go forward with the work necessary to avoid this happening again.

Shawinigan: des sinistrés veulent des réponses

The mayor of Shawinigan, Michel Angers, assured the victims that the City was going to determine the cause of the problem and correct it.

François Gervais

A first capture tv
Furthermore, the assembly of the city council was captured by cameras for the first time. As the City of Three-Rivers, Shawinigan, puts forward the live broadcast of the sessions of the council. Cogeco is responsible for this video recording. On Tuesday night there was, however, an uptake in the order to make tests. “If all goes well, we will proceed to the dissemination of the meetings of the city council as early as next month,” said the mayor of Shawinigan, Michel Angers. “We want to inform better the citizens.” A modification of the rules of the functioning of the public meetings of the municipal council had to be adopted to allow this broadcast. The public meetings will be broadcast live on the channel NousTV.

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