While rebuilding efforts are underway in Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, new flood zone maps proposed by the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM) are making people nervous.
Before the dike broke, only two homes in Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac were considered to be in a flood zone, but now the maps are putting hundreds of residents in a flood plain.
Michelle Ellison owns one of those homes.
“We’ve heard so many rumours — so many rumours it’s scary,” said Ellison. “They say from here to the stop, they’re going to be condemned.”
With two major flooding events in the past two years, the CMM had to make updates.
“It will help people to better plan when floods do happen and also maybe rethink where to build new developments, or how to better plan existing developments,” said Brent Edwards, a cartographer with the CMM.
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“What does it mean? Do we move out? And if we do, where do I go?” asked Ellison.
Guylaine Deschamps is Ellison’s neighbour. She moved into the area last September, but says she says she would never have invested her retirement money there if she had that information.
“It’s very hard because now, we are — I don’t know, I’m in the street,” said Deschamps, who, if her home were condemned, would be homeless just seven months after moving in.
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The CMM says a group of experts — including Prof. Pascale Biron, a river dynamics expert with Concordia University — are now working to come up with solutions for people who now find themselves in flood zones.
The group will present a report to the province by June 20.
It will then be up to the government to decide what’s next and whether to approve the maps.