Quebec’s disastrous 2019 floods bring out compassion from local volunteers
Severe spring flooding has wrecked havoc across the province of Quebec, leaving nearly 10,500 people temporarily homeless.
Luc Derochers was one resident who had to leave his home on Île Bizard and has been under the care of the Red Cross for more than 10 days.
Rushed out of his home, he left with nearly nothing and has been getting supplies at the makeshift flood relief centre at the Holiday Inn in Pointe Claire.
“Its very hard,” Derochers said. “We don’t know what to expect, moving room-to-room.”
Local volunteers at the shelter have tended to the needs of several hundred flood victims, handing out necessary items such as food and clothes. Luhan Wahbeh and Melody Nagant have been working long days, lending a helping hand and ear where they can.
WATCH: Coverage of the 2019 Quebec floods on Globalnews.ca
The centre is a refuge for people affected by the floods, Wahbeh said.
“We’re just regular people,” Wahbeh said. “We leave our pets, our husbands and we come here every day just to help those people in need.”
As thousands try to bring their life back on steady ground, the aid from volunteers has made the hectic situation a little easier, Derochers said.
“They take care of us more than our family almost,” Derochers said.
This is the second time Melody Nagant has volunteered in flood relief, and she says spreading just a little joy makes it worth while.
“If I can help in any way to put a smile on someone’s face for one little thing, I will do it,” Nagant said.
Despite being under a state of emergency, you’ll find smiles ear to ear in the Pierrefonds Comprehensive High school parking lot, where a rag-tag group of pickup truck drivers have hand-delivered thousands of sandbags to people in need.
David Pouliot and several others have been on call around the clock since day one of the floods.
“I’m lucky for garbage day because I forgot what day it was,” Pouliot said.
During the peak of the floods Pouliot says he worked 13-hour days. And though his time volunteering has caused him to take time off work, it’s a duty, he says, to help out those that cannot help themselves.
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