June 20, 2019 6:17 pm
Updated: June 20, 2019 6:32 pm

Cleanup continues in Pierrefonds after major spring flooding

The borough of Pierrefonds-Roxboro is continuing its cleanup with the removal of a temporary dirt dike that had been built along Gouin Boulevard. As Global's Phil Carpenter explains, while residents agree that similar dikes helped contain the floodwaters, they, along with borough officials say more permanent solutions are needed to help prevent future flooding.

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The flood cleanup in Pierrefonds is continuing with the removal of a temporary dirt dike on Gouin Boulevard near St-Jean Boulevard.

Workers spent most of Thursday dismantling the barrier that was built to contain floodwaters this spring.

“We have kilometres of dikes like this that we not only put in public areas like here but we were also able to go through residential areas,” explains Pierrefonds-Roxboro borough Mayor Jim Beis.

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Many of the dikes have already been taken down. David Samuelson, who runs Auto Place garage on Gouin, says the dike was helpful, even if it blocked off his garage and forced the closure of his business for weeks.

“Well it was effective to control water on Boulevard Pierrefonds and St-Jean and Gouin,” he tells Global News.

Other dikes worked well too. While river water levels were higher this spring than during the historic floods in 2017, the damage wasn’t as extensive. Nearly 800 homes were flooded two years ago.

“But in 2019,” said Beis. “We had about 60 homes that were flooded, primarily in the western portion of the borough.”

Samuelson says the temporary dikes aren’t enough though — and that more concrete measures will be to implemented.

“Eventually they will have to build something permanent for like maybe a mile or two, especially if flooding is going to happen more often,” he tells Global News.

READ MORE: West Island flood volunteers wrap up donation operations at Holiday Inn

Beis agrees. He says he’s trying to get permission from the provincial government to build permanent dikes, because he stresses that it’s an absolute necessity as some people can’t just move out of flood-prone areas.

“What do I say to those folks who have been living there for generations and we are responsible for helping them,” he said.

Beis doesn’t know if or when he will get the green light from the province. Some residents in the area, though, say there are other things besides dikes that need to be done to stop future flooding.

“The dike worked,” said mechanic Rachid Yasine, who owns a garage on Gouin. “Engineers have to think, have to check what the solution is to control the water not to back up through the drain.”

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