Posted on Thursday May 16, 2019 at
Reflecting on the flood aftermath
As the flooding crisis begins to slow down in the region, some residents are beginning to reflect on the situation and to look ahead to what comes next.
Cathy Williams, a resident of Montpetit Road in L’Orignal, has already begun to think of things she can do and changes she can make to facilitate her life if flooding reoccurs in the coming years. “To plan for next year, I already have a few thoughts” she said. “I’m going to look into buying a flat bottom boat and I would like to add some more cameras around my house, because when I had to leave my house this year it was really great to have front cameras to keep an eye on my house and see the level of the water.”
Williams, 67, was evacuated from her home located at the end of Montpetit Road, on April 27, when the water level on the road in front her house was as its highest. It took some convincing for her to finally leave. “There a just a lot of worries when someone takes you out of your house,” she said. She was able to return home ten days later, on May 6. She has lived in her home for 35 years and the spring flood in 2017 was the first time such a thing has happened to her.
“I have been here 35 years and this is only the second time it has ever flooded, however it happened in 2017 and now again in 2019, so it does kind of get you thinking about what’s going to happen in the future, said Williams. I haven’t really thought about moving. I’m lucky that my house is high enough, that it is kind of protected. The only risk is with the basement. The problem is not with my house, the worries come from the road.” Williams raised the foundation of her cottage in 1988, four years after buying it.
“I’m quite prepared and have taken a lot of precautions,” she said. “I have a flood alarm, cameras, and a pump for my basement.” Last year, Williams had a $ 30 000-dollar wall constructed on the riverside of her house, and had a section of the road in front of her property paved, with her own money, to ensure better drainage. “I have done an awful lot on my part, but the road needs to be maintained.”
Williams is luckily not facing extensive damages this year. Her basement has managed to stay completely dry. “I don’t really have any damage per se, except outside. There are all sort of debris on my property and some lawn and paving damage,” she explained. But, I’m not sure exactly what yet.” The water in front of her house had started to recede last week, but with a full day of rain again last Friday, May 10, the road is once again flooded, the deepest parts being about one foot high, according to Williams.
Williams is retired and has a medical disability that limits her mobility. She can walk a bit but finds it better to use a scooter for getting around. She has an arrangement with Foodland, in which someone delivers her groceries once a week. When the water was too high on the road, this arrangement proved difficult and she had to go a little longer than expected without receiving her food.
Williams has already applied for the Red Cross Relief Program. She will also be making inquiries about getting reimbursed for the approximate thousand dollars she had to spend to stay at McGill Manor, while she was evacuated.