July 21, 2019 7:08 pm
Updated: July 26, 2019 6:37 pm

Saint-Leonard residents furious with borough after flash flood

WATCH: Some residents of Saint-Leonard, who were flooded following an intense weekend storm, took their upset to their borough city hall on Monday. As Global's Dan Spector explains, the citizens want their borough to ensure this doesn't happen again.


Saint-Leonard residents living on De Belmont Street had a rude awakening Sunday morning after a brief but powerful rainstorm caused flash floods on their street.

Some residents had over two feet of water in their homes.

“I’m really angry,” said resident Sofiya Marunych. “Who wants to be shovelling water — sewer water — in their pyjamas at seven in the morning on a Sunday?”

Marunych told Global News her mother woke her up at around 7 a.m and she went outside and started filming on her phone. She saw water coming up from sewers, and downward-sloping driveways filled with water, including her own.

“My mom had opened the garage and we had water to the knees,” she recounted.

A few doors down, a building owned by Pat Monaco was one of the hardest hit.

“The water went all the way up to here,” he said, pointing to a line near his waist. “When we opened the door, it was like a little river coming out. I just renovated the apartment and now I have to redo everything.”

He said water came in from the sewers on the street, but also came up from toilets and sinks in the house.

WATCH: A brief but intense rain storm dealt several people in Saint-Leonard, Que., a very rough start to their day on Sunday as flash floods battered the area.

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In Monaco’s garage, the water knocked over shelves and a fridge.

In the unit he rents out, Sunday afternoon the floor was covered in dirt left behind by the water.

“There was two and a half feet of water in here. It was full,” he said, also noting the odour of sewage filling the room.

READ MORE: Quebec removes 30 municipalities from its updated flood maps

Anything that was on the ground was ruined, and the fridge was on its back. The renter’s car, sitting in the driveway outside, was also damaged by the water.

Residents said the same thing has happened multiple times over the years, and that they have repeatedly asked the city to upgrade the sewers.

“I’m fed up, I’m mad, and the city doesn’t do anything about it,” Ida Vinci said in Italian as Monaco translated.

Vinci and her husband Mauro have lived on the street for 40 years and she said the same thing happens at least once every year. Their home was also flooded, and they brought shoes outdoors to dry in the sun.

Marunych told Global News she and others met with Saint-Leonard borough mayor Michel Bissonnet in March about the issue.

READ MORE: Quebec issues moratorium forbidding construction in high-risk flood zones

“I’m frustrated because they promised us they were going to start doing something in the summer and nothing has been done,” said Marunych.

She has some harsh words for borough leadership.

“They don’t really care,” she said. “If one of them would buy a house on this street, it would be done. But no one owns a house on this street from the mayor or his family, so nothing is done. It’s promises, promises, promises, and nothing is done. They pretty much laugh in our face.”

Saint-Leonard officials could not be reached for comment on Sunday. Residents were making plans to march to the borough hall on Monday.

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

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