Sainte-Thérèse could have done more to prevent flood damage, says resident

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Sainte-Thérèse could have done more to prevent flood damage, says resident

When Sainte-Thérèse resident Olivier Marr saw the weekly forecast this past Monday, he knew what was coming.

Nearly four days of rain and warm temperatures, which meant there was a real possibility he could soon be facing rising waters from a flood.

He called the town to ask what preventative measures were being put in place and was told nothing would be done until water reached properties and buildings.

"We felt like we were kind of annoying them a little," he said. "But they told us they were ready, which wasn't true."

Marr wasn't happy with that answer.

He and a few neighbours got together to rent a water pump and buy approximately $200 in sandbags. Despite being prepared, the water rose up to a metre in Marr's garage on Thursday.

"We did everything we could to save our building, but unfortunately for me it didn't work out," he said.

When the water reached his garage, Marr said he called the town for help. Workers arrived with some sandbags, but he said it was little help at that point, and they did not have nearly enough.

The town said its first priority was the safety of its citizens and ensuring flooded buildings were evacuated, then property.

Still, Marr believes his garage could have been saved with a little bit of prevention on the town's part.

Flood watch continues 

Water levels for several rivers in southern Quebec have stabilized, but a flood-watch continues after more than 78 homes were evacuated in the the lower Laurentians on Friday.

A combination of heavy rain and snow-melt over the last few days led to floods in Sainte-Thérèse, Blainville and Rosemère areas as parts of the Mille-Iles and des Prairies rivers overflowed. 

The Chaudière River in Beauceville, south of Quebec City, also spilled its banks Friday night.

Meanwhile, water levels of the Rivière aux Chiens, on the northern shore of Montreal, have started to return to normal and the focus there has turned to clean-up.

The situation in Estrie and the Montérégie has stabilized as well.

The provincial government is stepping in to help residents, with Quebec Public Safety Minister Martin Coiteux saying that those affected by the flooding would be entitled to aid programs.

"I would like to let affected residents know that the government of Quebec has programs that exist to help them," Coiteux said in Sainte-Thérèse on Friday.