May 22, 2017 8:18 pm

Quebec floods: 5000 Quebecers still not home, kept in the dark

The Red Cross is visiting families at the Holiday Inn in Pointe-Claire to talk to victims of the intense Quebec floods. Global's Paola Samuel has the latest.


Since flooding ravaged parts of southern Quebec, residents have been eagerly awaiting their chance to return home.

But it isn’t looking great for some.

According to the Canadian Red Cross, more than 5,000 Quebec families have yet to return to their waterlogged houses, including 60 homes on the Island of Montreal.

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READ MORE: Dozens of homes uninhabitable in the aftermath of flooding

Pierrefonds residents Cheryl Banane and Adeel Yousaf were forced out during the floods and have been homeless since May 7 — hopping from hotel room to hotel room.

“It’s overwhelming. You try to hold it in, to take it one day at a time,” Banane told Global News.

Banane’s house — which has been deemed too dangerous to move back into — was always full, with her father who moved in last year, and her brother and his family living in the basement.

“We can’t even go inside to start cleaning the house because I’m afraid for all of us, the public inspector and the public engineer told us not to enter the house,” she said.

READ MORE: Cleanup underway in Vaudreuil-sur-le-Lac

Their neighbour down the street is a little better off, but not by much.

Even though John Meris is able to enter his home, there is not much to be salvaged.

“It will probably be cheaper to rebuild than to fix some of the things here,” Meris said.

The Red Cross stepped in and offered short-term, urgent help during the floods, but as the situation became more grim for Quebecers, the charity organization started planning a long-term solution. One that includes lodging and food supplies for those who can’t go home.

READ MORE: Operation Montreal Flood: helping victims get back on their feet

Many of the families Global News spoke to in the West Island say they’re feeling overwhelmed. They said the most frustrating part now is not knowing where to go, or who to contact.

“I want to know what, do I do with this [house], is it rebuild-able? Is it fixable? Or do I tear it down? I don’t know,” Meris said.

For Banane, not even being able to enter her house has kept the family in the dark as to what they need to do.

“[We need] steps to take, to find an engineer and see if we can lift the house and fix the foundation — or has the whole house been compromised even with a new foundation?,” she said.

“We don’t know and nobody is telling us where to go to get that information.”

For now, the only thing residents can do is wait and hope that things will move forward quickly to bring some sort of normalcy back to a daily life that is anything but.

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

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