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Room for cleaning up in Beauce

SAINTE-MARIE – The divans, the armchair and the furniture were piled up on the gallery, ready to take the road to the dump, like the twelve bags of debris on the edge of the street.
“It’s my living room,” says Luce Faucher, 62. “Everything is scrap.”

On Tuesday afternoon, as hundreds of Beauce disaster after the worst floods in a century in the region, M me Faucher was cleaning the damage left by the flood of the Chaudière River.

Saturday night, the water rose in his basement. Luce Faucher and her husband thought they would be able to limit the damage with pumps. But soon, the river came through the doors and windows and flooded the living room, kitchen, bathroom and veranda about three steps up.

The river broke the legs of the kitchen table and chairs, washed the fridge, the stove, the cabinets, the washer, the dryer, the couches and the piano to the keyboard. She also soaked the walls, leaving a strong smell of wet gypsum. “Everything went to the water. I do not have anything. Nothing, nothing, nothing good, “says M me Faucher.

Evacuated Saturday night, Luce Faucher and her husband were able to return home Monday. La Chaudière had stopped flowing in their home, leaving the fleet to reign in the basement and a ring on the walls of the first floor in memory of its passage.

Mrs. Faucher, a retired TELUS technician and recently grandmother, thought she would live here for a long time. But on Tuesday, she was tearing down her wet walls to avoid mold, distraught by the cruelty of nature.

She will not be able to make claims to her insurance, which does not cover floods. She crosses her fingers for the government to compensate her. “Otherwise, we, we lose everything.”

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In the neighboring streets, traders had also embarked on a big chore. At the Kenpo Beauce Karate School, a human chain had formed to get the equipment out of the water and dry it out. A little earlier, the faithful had scratched the mud on the floor with shovels.

“We’re pretty much a family,” says the owner, Keven Perreault. “There are people coming here to train three to five times a week. They came to help us pick up. ”

But sometimes, the damage is so great that even a thorough cleaning can do nothing. On Saint-Patrice Avenue, the floor of a yellow triplex has tilted backwards like a rocking chair.

Waiting for an engineer

The owner, Corine Rousseau, says she is waiting for the assessment of an engineer before she can authorize tenants to pick up their belongings in their apartments. “Because here they can not go back,” she says, “it’s way too dangerous.”

M me Rousseau had paid dearly for a waterproof foundation. But according to the interpretation of a neighbor who witnessed the flood, the water would have penetrated under the solage, lifting it like a boat in a hold.

“Is it recoverable? We do not know, “says Corine Rousseau, owner of many buildings near the Chaudière River in Sainte-Marie, all flooded.

Owner of a rental building on Notre-Dame Street, Jean Bilodeau saw cracks appear on the foundations of the building after the flood. In the area where it is located, he says, the first floor is supposed to be flooded once every 100 years. But Mr. Bilodeau fears that the water will rise again in the near future.

These days, he listens when he hears Prime Minister François Legault who wants to persuade residents to move in exchange for compensation. “If they want to shave here to make a park, there is no problem.”

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Alan Carter
Alan Carter
Alan Carter has been a reporter on the news desk since 2015. Before that she wrote about young adolescents and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Koz Post, Alan Carter worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella.