Tornado aftermath - Mayor calls for emergency preparedness plans

  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/views-6.x-3.0/views/views.module on line 1113.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/views-6.x-3.0/views/handlers/views_handler_field.inc on line 1147.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/views-6.x-3.0/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 165.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/views-6.x-3.0/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 165.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/views-6.x-3.0/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 165.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/views-6.x-3.0/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 587.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/views-6.x-3.0/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 587.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_query::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/views-6.x-3.0/views/plugins/views_plugin_query.inc on line 169.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/views-6.x-3.0/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 136.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/views-6.x-3.0/views/views.module on line 1113.
  • strict warning: Declaration of calendar_plugin_display_page::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/calendar-6.x-2.4/calendar/includes/calendar_plugin_display_page.inc on line 297.
  • strict warning: Declaration of calendar_plugin_display_block::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/calendar-6.x-2.4/calendar/includes/calendar_plugin_display_block.inc on line 78.
  • strict warning: Declaration of calendar_plugin_display_attachment::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/calendar-6.x-2.4/calendar/includes/calendar_plugin_display_attachment.inc on line 242.
  • strict warning: Declaration of content_handler_field::element_type() should be compatible with views_handler_field::element_type($none_supported = false, $default_empty = false, $inline = false) in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/cck-6.x-2.9/cck/includes/views/handlers/content_handler_field.inc on line 229.
  • strict warning: Declaration of date_handler_field_multiple::pre_render() should be compatible with content_handler_field_multiple::pre_render($values) in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/date-6.x-2.9/date/date/date_handler_field_multiple.inc on line 185.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_pager_none::post_execute() should be compatible with views_plugin_pager::post_execute(&$result) in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/views-6.x-3.0/views/plugins/views_plugin_pager_none.inc on line 69.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/views-6.x-3.0/views/views.module on line 1113.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/content/29/3579629/html/bulletinaylmer/en/modules/views-6.x-3.0/views/views.module on line 1113.
Added: Wed, 11/07/2018 - 2:47pm
Printer-friendly version


Paul Dubé in front of his destroyed home on Marquis Street.

Carl Hager
& Olivier Pilon

MUNICIPALITY OF PONTIAC – Over a month after a severe tornado hit the municipality, the effects are still being felt as many property owners – some of whom had to be relocated - deal with insurance companies and clear fallen trees. Over a hundred buildings were damaged; 25-30 were a total loss.
Emergency plan needed
Pontiac Mayor Joanne Labadie recounted how the storm hit as the municipal office was closing for the weekend. Staff were called back to help with communications and emergency crews aided victims. Local contractors were contacted to help clear debris from roads.
“It was the fourth major weather event to hit Pontiac in 16 months. Without the resources of larger cities like Gatineau and Ottawa, we had to reach out to the community to help clean up debris. The response was overwhelmingly positive,” said Labadie. Despite this, the municipality does not have a finalized emergency preparedness plan; one was drafted after the 2017 flooding, but has not been completed. There is no regional plan in place either, but Labadie said she will be pushing the idea at the MRC-des-Collines' meetings as well as working to finalize Pontiac's. According to her, Pontiac is not unique; 60% of Quebec municipalities do not have plans, although they are provincially mandated. 
“In a disaster, the plan would initiate quick use of the human and equipment resources of nearby municipalities. Mayors would not have to go to their councils to
get mandates for money, equipment, and personnel. Emergencies require quick and direct action,” said Labadie, who said the municipality will be consulting Jean Perras regarding emergency readiness, a prior Des Collines warden who reviewed the Lac Megantic train disaster.
Local resident's story
Andrea Lavigne was reading a book on her deck on September 14, when she saw a dark grey wall approaching from across the Ottawa River. She went inside to close the windows, but the storm hit within seconds. The large windows facing the river imploded, throwing her into a space between the furniture, where she stayed until the storm passed. She crawled to safety from under the debris on her hands and knees, cutting herself on broken glass. She is awaiting minor surgery to remove a piece of glass still embedded in her knee.
Lavigne’s partner Paul Dubé was on his way home when the tornado hit. “It took ten seconds to destroy what took me four months to build in 2003,” he said. They are demolishing their home, trying to salvage any useful construction supplies to use when they rebuild a bungalow in the spring. “We were overwhelmed by the community's support. They brought us food, words of encouragement, and helped with the mountain of debris,” he said. Insurance woes
Terry Dagenais and his wife estimate they incurred damages to their home
ranging between $60,000 and $70,000.
Dagenais said Wawanesa told him that if he filed a claim for tornado damage, his insurance policy would not be renewed September 28, 2019, since he has already made two claims in the last three years. He is also limited in his ability to work while he is repairing his house by himself and does not know if any help is coming from the Québec government.
The problems with the insurer started last year when their pool collapsed and basement flooded, requiring claims. Dagenais said Wawanesa told him his maximum claim was $20,000. Since the damages far exceeded that, he found ways to repair his basement and replace some articles on his own. “I was astounded - we've never missed a payment in 34 years,” he told
the Journal. “An insurance company is supposed to be there for victims.”
As of press time, Wawanesa Insurance had not returned The Journal’s calls.