May 25, 2019 6:00 pm
Updated: May 25, 2019 7:15 pm

Volunteers, residents launch major spring cleanup after flooding in Pierrefonds

WATCH ABOVE: The flooding may be over but the cleanup is just getting started in Pierrefonds. As Global’s Brayden Jagger Haines reports, residents and volunteers were out in force to lend a helping hand.

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On Saturday, the Pierrefonds borough launched a major cleanup operation, run by volunteers and residents.

On des Maçons Street, residents lugged the 18-kilogram bags that protected their homes to the curb.

Thousands of sandbags lined the dry street on either side.

READ MORE:  ‘We learned a lot of lessons’: Pierrefonds mayor credits preparation for limited flooding so far

Local Peirrefonds resident René Leblanc said this year they were fortunate their street stayed dry.

He thanks the administration for their quick response unlike in 2017.

“We asked for thousands of bags — I don’t know, 15,000 or 20,000,” Leblanc said.

“We got whatever we wanted.”

Nearly 250,000 sandbags were distributed throughout the borough to protect the hundreds of homes threatened by rising water levels.

“Today’s effort is really to clean up the properties and make sure the residents can get back to their normal life,” Pierrefonds-Roxoboro Mayor Jim Beis said.

City workers began picking up the unneeded sandbags and bringing them to the makeshift disposal centre near the borough hall.

The growing mountain of contaminated sand will be triaged, Beis said, and disposed of properly by specialized companies contracted by the city.

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Meanwhile, a fleet of 10 Sociéte de transport de Montréal (STM) buses were parked outside Pierrefonds Comprehensive Highs School, the epicentre of flood relief in the borough.

Willing volunteer workers were coordinated and sent by bus to 10 hard-hit sections of the borough to begin cleanup operations.

READ MORE: West Island residents told to stay vigilant in face of wet weather

The water level continues to be high but has stayed stable, and Beis reassures residents he and his administration are being cautious.

“We’re being quite realistic concerning the dikes near the shore front,” Beis said. “Those will stay.”

The borough will announce another major volunteer effort soon.

In the meantime, Beis is calling on residents to continue doing what they can to help their fellow citizens in need.

WATCH: (May 13, 2019) Montreal communities still dealing with flooding

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