Quebec has paid more than $300 million in compensation to buy back the properties of victims of the historic floods of 2017 and 2019. A situation that clearly illustrates the government's challenges in the face of climate change.  ;
The floods of 2017 and 2019 did serious damage to Gatineau.
Between 2019 and 2022, Quebec opened more than 1,400 compensation files according to figures from the Ministry of Public Security compiled for J.E.
More than a hundred are in Gatineau.
A total of 144 owners returned their land to the City. From the air, Pointe-Gatineau today looks like a bombed-out neighborhood.
This saddens Louise David, who regularly returns to her old street.
< p>“I am a climate refugee. I would never have thought in 2019 that in 2021 I would be sitting on a condo terrace. »
Louise David, disaster victim.
In 2008, Mrs. David bought a property for her retirement in the neighborhood of her childhood.
All that remains today is a vacant lot with flowers that 'she planted.
Her retirement plan ended up under the peak of the wreckers because the risk of flooding increased. Mrs. David has seen her house flooded twice in two years. In 2017, then in 2019.
Ms. David accepted the $250,000 offered to her by the government to move, demolish the house and sell her land to the City of Gatineau.
“I said to myself: who would buy a house that risks flooding every two years? Who ? »
Louise David's house went under the peak of the wreckers. She has since moved into a condo.
Ms. David has acquired a small condominium that suits her business, far from the Gatineau River. But not everyone has benefited from it, as noted by Yannick Hémond, professor of geography at UQAM, specializing in risks and disasters.
“The problem with the $250,000, it often doesn't even pay for the house! So, we actually impoverish these people by offering them this amount […], there are a lot of them, for example like in Rigaud. »
Villages not ready
Several municipalities have recently had to face major climatic events without being well prepared.
This is the case of Saint-Adolphe-d'Howard, which faced two destructive weather events. On May 21, a line of extremely violent thunderstorms, a derecho, passed through the small municipality of Laurentides.
A month later, three tornadoes caused significant damage, particularly in around Lac Beausoleil.
Saint-Adolphe-d'Howard estimates that the two natural disasters cost him $150,000. Many victims blame the City for its disorganization, especially in the face of tornadoes. This is the case of France Mignault.
“Here, we did not feel that we had an adequate emergency plan. »
Same story from Marie-Hélène Dubé of Lac Beausoleil.
« We asked for security. The firefighters were there during the day. […] But in the evening, we had to organize ourselves. »
The general manager of Saint-Adolphe-d’Howard, Stéphane Labarre, recognizes the problem.
“Of course we will put the emphasis on it […] I have already spoken about it with the Ministry of Public Security. As a municipality, we do not have a communications specialist. »
Stéphane Labarre, General Manager of Saint-Adolphe-d’Howard.
This is a problem noted elsewhere in Quebec by Yannick Hémond, professor of geography at UQAM.
“More than 1000 municipalities do not have the budget of big cities. […] It is certain that they are full of good will, but there is a lack of resources, both human and financial. However, it has been shown that a dollar invested in preparation saves between $7 and $14 when the event occurs. »
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Katrine Johns has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Gal Post, Katrine Johns worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-268-7128