Army deployed in Gatineau with streets flooding; roads closed
The military is deploying in Gatineau Sunday ahead of major flooding in streets and homes in low-lying areas.
Light armoured vehicles carrying 150 military members arrived in Gatineau late Saturday evening; the area is experiencing flood damage following more than 50mm of rain in the past 48 hours.
"We were all expecting a nice and quiet easter and we got the call," said Lt. Mathieu Lavallee with the second battalion Canadian Armed Forces out of Quebec. "We understand their situation because we felt the same and we are more than happy to be here with them in the difficult times and give them a hand."
Joanne Brisson's family knows what it means to lose everything; relatives had their home destroyed two years ago.
"Back in 2017, they were inundated with water of course," said Brisson. "They're in tears because they overcame but now it's back."
Brisson and her family now live on higher ground, out of the flood zone. Today, Brisson helped members of the military fill sandbags for residents living along flooded streets at the intersection of St. Andre and St. Paul.
For Camile Lamoine, protecting his home was a family affair Saturday; nearly two years after his basement, and everything in it, was ruined by flooding.
“It came up seven feet in one night and that's what we're expecting again tonight,” said niece Sylvie Lamoine. “We're not taking any chances, we hope this is not going to happen, but we've seen the worst and we're expecting the worst.
Sylvie, her relatives, friends and neighbours started sandbagging at 7am; building massive walls to keep the water out.
His daughter. Marianne Fortin, says their mom passed away shortly after the last flood.
“In 2017, my mom refused to leave the home,” she said. “It's awful losing all what you built, what you worked for.”
Fortin said the stress is wearing on her father too.
Neighbouring streets have been closed off to traffic with water 5-10mmdeep along Rue Saint Franocis-Xavier . Businesses and homes sandbagged trying to beat the rush of water before it reaches their doorstep.
Inside the Beaudry Arena in Gatineau, nearly 500 volunteers with shovels in-hand filled more than 100,000 sandbags.
“People bonding even when they didn’t know each other.” said volunteer Mathieu Dupont.
Residents did their part to help total strangers in need, trying to prevent another tragic flood along the Ottawa River.
“I really think this time it's going to make a big difference,” said Jacob Larin.