Quebecers may be able to rebuild in flood-prone areas
Published Thursday, July 20, 2017 8:48AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, July 20, 2017 1:12PM EDT
The provincial government is changing how it will compensate people who lost homes to spring flooding in Quebec.
Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux and Environment Minister David Heurtel announced Wednesday that it is going to re-evaluate whether or not people living in low-lying areas will be allowed to rebuild homes that were damaged or destroyed, but that will largely be done on a case-by-case basis.
"In cases where a municipality in the community wants it, in case this is an area which is densely populated, an area which is mostly residential, an area in which a number of houses would have to be reconstructed but most of the houses are still there we might allow for a potential exception," said Coiteux.
Under the revised plan compensation will be based on the cost of new construction, and the value of the land in addition to the value of the home will be evaluated.
Quebec does not want people to rebuild in areas where the risk of flooding once every 20 years is quite high, with the government saying it just doesn't make sense to build housing that is almost guaranteed to be damaged by Mother Nature.
That worries people living on Ile Mercier, an area which was heavily flooded his past spring, and were floods caused significant damage 20 years ago
Pier-Luc Cauchon and his neighbours struggled to save their homes from rising waters in the spring, but the damage was still so bad that Cauchon is only now moving back home.
He is still waiting to hear how much, if anything, he will get from the government.
"They say they cannot give me money. I did not get a dollar to help me, because they say 'your evaluation is not done yet.' So I'm not getting any help. I have four kids. I have nothing coming in," said Cauchon.
Inspectors will likely need several more weeks to determine what flood victims will receive.
That delay is causing homeowners some real stress.
"We don't know if we fall in the 'we're losing the house.' We don't know if we fall into the 'everything is going to be ok,'" said Cauchon.
So far the province has given out $26 million to flood victims, and 95 percent of the damaged homes have been inspected.
To date the owners of more than 1,000 homes, out of the 5,000 damaged by floods, have received their evaluations