Emergency flood preparedness – Québec delivers readiness plan

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Carl Hager

The flood disaster that struck municipalities in the Pontiac and elsewhere last spring has triggered a response from Québec government. One of the main points of the 24-point action plan requires every municipality to develop its own disaster plan.

Carl Hager

The flood disaster that struck municipalities in the Pontiac and elsewhere last spring has triggered a response from Québec government. One of the main points of the 24-point action plan requires every municipality to develop its own disaster plan.
Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux said the government will provide funding to municipalities to help with their preparedness plans, although few details were available. It is not clear how the $20 million earmarked for updating floodplain maps nor the $20 million for updated relief plans will be distributed to municipalities.
The Municipality of Pontiac Mayor, Joanne Labadie, said that her municipality will be asking the government for financial assistance and environmental permission to build a dyke to protect the village core. A store of bags has already been purchased, and sand will be stored in order to be ready for the next emergency. The Pontiac Journal has asked for feedback from other municipalities but they are trying to digest the news and have no comment at the moment.
The government was deluged by the thousands of claims that arose from flood damages, and it was clearly not prepared to handle the requests for aid by residents in a systematic and efficient way. In response, the ministry is training staff to increase effectiveness when managing claims. Part of the action plan allows municipalities to handle claims themselves if they wish. The aim is to expedite claims to prevent people being left in limbo for months.
With about a hundred people still being housed in hotels because of the 2017 floods, it is clear that the government and municipalities have work to do, not only with the after-effects, but with future construction as people flock to the
waterfront when looking for their ideal home.