Sewer back-ups frustrate Joly Street residents in Île Bizard

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The flood waters might be receding but residents might not be out of the woods just yet. Some first-time flood victims on Joly street in Île Bizard want answers, and reassurances – May 4, 2019

Residents on Joly Street in Île Bizard are fuming.

Several basements in homes were flooded multiple times over the last 24 hours in spite of the fact that water levels have been dropping.

“The sewer broke so the water came from the toilet from the basements, and it came up from all the sewers,”says Patrick Michaud who has been helping his cousin who lives on the street.

READ MORE: City officials ask flood relief volunteers to stop building dike on Île-Bizard’s Joly Street

Residents believe the problem relates to a pump one street over that is supposed to stop flood waters from backing up in the sewers.

“It’s related for sure,” says resident Christine Charlebois. “Because when it’s not working, we have the problem, and when it works, we have no problem.”

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Water started getting into basements Friday morning.  By mid-afternoon residents say authorities assured them the pump was fixed, and the water in the houses receded. But there was more water on Saturday morning.

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“This morning I woke up at 5 a.m., went to see downstairs, water starting to come up again,” Charlebois told Global News.

“Some people had one, two feet of water in their basements,” adds Jessica Houle, Charlebois’ neighbour.

Since the street began flooding weeks ago, this is the first time many of its houses have taken in water, now when the flood is receding.

News that the water is going down is a relief for volunteers.  They had wanted to build a dike on the street earlier this week but the controversial decision was shot down by borough officials Thursday night.

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Now neighbours feel they have a whole new battle. After weeks of keeping their houses dry, they say this is the last thing they need.

“We’re already tired like crazy because it’s been two weeks in the water,” explains Michaud. “Now we can’t even use the toilet anymore, we can’t even take a shower.

That’s in spite of the fact that there was a working pump late Saturday morning. Though Charlebois was able to use her bathroom after the pump was replaced, she’s uneasy because of the multiple sewer backups.

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“Are we gonna do that for five days?  “We’re getting pretty tired of it,” she sighs.

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They question why there isn’t a back-up pump on site and point to this latest incident as just the latest example of how authorities have let them down.

“Find a solution so that we don’t have water in our basement, and find a solution on our waterfront, to try to stop this thing,” Charlebois says.

Île Bizard Mayor Normand Marinacci confirmed that there was a problem with the pump and said all residents should be able to use their bathrooms before long.  But he couldn’t say if there would be a back-up pump installed.

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