May 15, 2017 4:26 pm
Updated: May 15, 2017 5:48 pm

Quebec floods: Roxboro residents want someone held accountable over dike dispute

WATCH: Flood waters have finally been pumped out of 5th Avenue North in Pierrefonds-Roxboro after a dike was installed. As Global's Felicia Parrillo reports, residents argue if it had been there before, it would have saved their homes during the flood.

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Martin Boisvert said he is ecstatic to finally be able to once again walk into his home in Pierrefonds-Roxboro, in Montreal’s West Island.

When Global News spoke to him last week, the only way to get around the neighbourhood was by boat.

Residents on 5th Avenue in Roxboro explained the street was engulfed by water because the city failed to plug a hole where water was seeping in.

Things took a turn for the dramatic when resident Alain Furlano was arrested Tuesday trying to fix the leak.

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READ MORE: Quebec floods: Pierrefonds resident arrested during relief efforts to remain behind bars

The street sat in a few feet of water for five days until Thursday, when city officials built a three-foot high barrier.

“Within four hours, all the water was pumped off our street,” said Boisvert, adding it is not clear why the dike wasn’t built earlier.

The borough of Pierrefonds-Roxboro and the AMT, the transit agency that runs on the tracks near the dike, blame each other.

Residents insist someone needs to be held accountable.

READ MORE: Quebec floods: Residents feel ‘abandoned’ by Montreal

“This is not a natural disaster,” said resident Nick Cai.

“It’s a man-made disaster.”

Cai is now in clean-up mode as there was about eight feet of water in his basement last week.

Now, he needs to gut, clean and rebuild.

READ MORE: Quebec floods: Pierrefonds-Roxboro collects 422 tonnes of garbage, debris in one weekend

“We haven’t reached the reconstruction yet, but just to clean up, to demolish everything, we’ll probably need to sanitize, make it dry. That is a lot of money already,” Cai told Global News.

His neighbour, Michel Joly, has lived on 5th Avenue for decades and said restoring his home could cost up to $40,000.

“We’ve never had this for 40 years, so something went wrong somewhere,” he said.

Residents say the newly-built dike is protecting them for now, but they want a permanent solution so their homes don’t get flooded again.

They also told Global News they’ll be consulting lawyers to see what the options are going forward.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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