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Quebec floods: Pierrefonds-Roxboro installs ‘muscle wall’ to prevent future disaster

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Thu, May 3: A “muscle wall” has been installed in an attempt to prevent a repeat of the devastating floods in Montreal's Pierrefonds-Roxboro borough. Global's Billy Shields reports – May 3, 2018

A “muscle wall” has been installed in an attempt to prevent a repeat of the devastating floods in Montreal’s Pierrefonds-Roxboro borough.

READ MORE: One year later, Pierrefonds residents ‘still in same place,’ waiting on compensation

“We have 300,000 bags of sands that we have ready, we have these muscle walls, water-gate systems that we’re trying out in an area right now,” explained borough Mayor Jim Beis.

“If we get flooded in that area [we will] see the impact.”
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READ MORE: ‘I feel gutted,’ says Île Bizard flood victim who was robbed

Beis explained the borough has worked hard to make sure residents don’t face the same destruction as they did last year.

“We have put a lot of resources in place to be able to react differently,” he told Global News.

“Will it solve all the issues? We’re not sure, but we also know we’re much more prepared now than we ever were.”

READ MORE: Pierrefonds flood victim suing the borough ‘for negligence’

Beis said the “muscle wall” replaces up to 300 bags of sand, using limited manpower and taking approximately an hour to install.

Some residents say they aren’t so sure the wall is steady enough.

“I don’t feel that it’s going to hold up. It looks like I can push it over myself,” said Jo Anne Gagnon, who lives next to the site.

WATCH BELOW: Quebec flood victims still struggling one year later

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Quebec floods: Residents still struggling one year later – May 1, 2018

It’s been about a year since the spring floods forced thousands of people from their homes across Quebec; some have yet to return home and others never will.

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READ MORE: Quebec flood victims told they need to find a new place to live

“It’s frustrating when they don’t give you an exact answer of when we’re going to be coming back home,” said Martyna Marcinkowski, a Pierrefonds resident who still cannot go home.

READ MORE: Forum held on flooding while homeowners wait for cheques

Almost $50 million was allocated to be distributed after the intense flooding that ravaged much of the province.

WATCH BELOW: Martin Coiteux’s plan for future flood risks

Click to play video: 'Quebec floods: Martin Coiteux’s plan for the future' Quebec floods: Martin Coiteux’s plan for the future
Quebec floods: Martin Coiteux’s plan for the future – Mar 1, 2018

Nevertheless, many flood victims argue they are still waiting for compensation to be able to rebuild.

“One thing that is for sure is our street came together,” said resident Itsik Romano.

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“We all met every week after the flood in order to follow up with each other’s files. Some people were good in one thing, so they helped there, others were good in another thing. That united us together.”

READ MORE: 92% of victims still without settled claims

In March, Quebec Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux said he wants to make it easier for future flood victims to get their money.

“A major effort has been deployed to make sure they can be compensated as quickly as possible,” he said.

READ MORE: Quebec flood victims in Cartierville desperate for answers

He explained he is taking steps to better map out areas that sit in flood zones and identify homes in floodplains.

rachel.lau@globalnews.ca

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