Spring time in Montreal normally comes with a mixture of light showers and beautiful sunny days that wash away the winter snow and bring joy to the population that has been held in the grip of the harsh Canadian winter. Unfortunately, this spring has come with about double the normal rainfall and fast melting of the winter snow, which had caused significant flooding along some rivers in the region.
RRT Montreal responded to a call for help from the residents in Ile Bizard (Bizard Island), whose homes were being threatened by the rising waters of the Riviere La Prairie (Prairie River). The RRT Local Team Leader contacted the Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, the area City Councillor Eric Dugas and the resident of the flooding who were grateful for the help offered.
The residents were extremely grateful to the RRT for the help in saving their homes; one made a generous donation to RRT for supplies and equipment and two provided food to the team, all of which was very gladly accepted by the cold, hungry volunteers!
RRT Montreal mobilized 10 strong, eager volunteers who pulled together the needed supplies and equipment in less than an hour and got onsite. They found one family residence that had 14” of ice cold, muddy water lapping up against the foundation and no protection whatsoever! Water was pouring into the basement from every window and crack in the foundation and the five water pumps in the basement were barely keeping up with the incoming flow.
The RRT team held a quick meeting with some local residents to decide on a plan of action, then split every man to his task. After about 2 hours and 300 sandbags, they were joined by about 25 firemen from several crews that had just been sent in. An hour later the flooded home was solidly protected by a sandbag wall that circled the entire house and was sealed by plastic sheeting. Pumps were then moved in and the water was removed from between the sandbag defences and the house, saving it from any further damage.
The RRT team then moved on to the neighboring houses and worked with the fire crews to seal their sandbag walls with plastic sheeting and strengthen them. In all they laid about 600 sandbags weighing 66 lbs each over the course of 55 man hours!