‘It’s going to be finished’: Volunteers lead Île Mercier flood cleanup – Montreal


As far as many Île Mercier residents are concerned, Saturday marks the end of the 2019 floods.

That’s because they’ve come together for a big cleanup to finally get rid of all the sandbags and debris left over from the floods.

“Everybody’s tired,” says David Dostie who lives in Île Bizard, but crossed the bridge to Île Mercier to help his 89-year-old mother clean up.

“You know it’s almost two months now.”

Île Mercier bridge re-opens as residents ask for help during weekend cleanup

Overflow from the Rivière-des-Prairies flooded homes and forced the closure of a bridge, isolating the tiny island for weeks.  Several people had to leave the island and were only able to return home within the last week.  Now that the water is mostly gone, neighbours and outsiders alike convened to help flood-weary homeowners clean up.

“Last Sunday, they told us that the bridge probably going to be open by the end of the week,” says Pier Luc Cauchon, “so we said, ‘Let’s organize something. As soon as it’s open we clean up; we don’t let the residents live through that hell longer.’”

WATCH: (May 31, 2019) Getting back to normal in the West Island after flooding

Several people turned up from far and wide to help out move wet, dirty sandbags used to build dikes around homes.

West Island flood volunteers wrap up donation operations at Holiday Inn

It’s hard work.  Several of the sandbags are still soaking wet, and there are thousands of them. By noon, only a few houses had been completed.

“Right now, I think we’ve gone through three that had about over a thousand bags,” resident Sonia Brown tells Global News.

They have about a dozen houses in all to do.  The plan is to move all the sand to three spots for the borough authorities to collect.

Even though there’s a lot to do, they want to have everything done by Sunday evening.

“Yeah, it’s going to be finished, believe me,” Dostie laughs. “Because everybody is tired.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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