May 31, 2019 7:10 pm

Rigaud resident says Quebec-made barrier saved home from flooding

WATCH: In 2017, Rigaud floodwaters caused about $150,000 in damage to Robert Bergeron's home. In 2019, an inflatable flood barrier kept his home almost completely dry. Global's Dan Spector explains.

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As some Rigaud residents were assessing damage from another devastating Spring flood, Robert Bergeron and his wife were doing yard work at their waterfront home.

“There was no damage at all on the property,” Bergeron told Global News.

Bergeron said the 2017 floods caused about $150,000 worth of damage to his house. The entire basement, living room and kitchen were among the sections destroyed.

“It was like a war zone. All the walls were stripped, no more furniture, the floor was ripped up,” Bergeron recounted.

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READ MORE: Quebec flooding: Dozens of Rigaud residents defying mandatory evacuation order

This year, his home was again surrounded by water, but also by a big yellow barrier called the Water-Gate.

It cost him $43,000, and he says it was worth every penny.

“The Water-Gate did the job,” he said.

On Thursday, MegaSecur, the Quebec company that manufactures it, came to clean it up for Bergeron. The polymer canvas barrier was flat because it’s inflated by the water itself.

“Basically, it’s the water coming out of the river — or whatever it comes from — that goes into the barriers,” said Stephane Turcotte, a Water-Gate sales representative for MegaSecur. He said the company has sold the barriers all over the world, including in Dubai, Australia and New Zealand.

READ MORE: As waters recede in Rigaud, officials fear rising costs promoting “hard decisions

The Water-Gate comes in large rolls in varying sizes. Turcotte pointed to one such roll and said it was the equivalent of nearly 800 sandbags.

Bergeron, meanwhile, can attest to the hard work involved in the helpful device.

Bergeron got special service from the company, but usually, customers have to install it and take it down themselves. And a mistake could mean disaster.

“It will work when you are putting your mind and the effort to provide the barrier the chance to do the job,” said Turcotte.

“I had to get up three to four times during the night to watch if the water didn’t get too high, that there weren’t any leaks in the Water-Gate,” said Bergeron.

WATCH: (April 27, 2019) Water levels continue to rise in Rigaud as Quebec deals with record flooding

The company has also sold to cities and towns in Quebec, but Rigaud said they wouldn’t be able to use it to prevent floods.

“If you have a small waterfront, maybe, but in Rigaud, we have 30 kilometres of waterfront,” said Rigaud Fire Chief Daniel Boyer. “It’s unthinkable.”

Bergeron thinks Quebec should pay for flood victims to have a discount on the product.

“Give people 15-20 per cent on this and help them out instead of spending millions of dollars,” he said.

The public security ministry wouldn’t comment.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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