With water levels returning to normal in the Montreal area, residents are going back home, evaluating the damage, and clearing away everything that is damaged.

The first step for homes that were evacuated is a visit from the local fire department. Firefighters are going door-to-door and determining if a house is safe to be lived or, can be entered in order to clean up, or still too dangerous to enter.

With a green or yellow notice out front, people in flooded areas in Pierrefonds-Roxboro returned this weekend to begin cleaning up.

The borough has added extra garbage collection service this week, but even so it's surprising just how much garbage is being thrown out.

Alec Albarian spent the day tearing out walls and hauling away furniture that had been soaked.

"Honestly, the tough part is just removing everything. That 20 to 30-year-old sub-floor, ripping all that stuff out, it takes some effort to say the least," said Albarian.

The borough is hiring eight more inspectors to go door-to-door in flood zones who will also evaluate the damage and determine if residents will need to apply for permits to conduct repairs.

The new inspectors will join the existing team that will all be identified as city employees.

After inspecting a house, they will give residents a form to be returned to the Borough Hall in order to declare their repairs.

If residents are simply repairing damage inside their home they won't need any other documents and won't require a work permit.

Residents who decide to take advantage of the wreckage to make major modifications to their home, such as adding an extension, will still need permits.

However for anything being repaired outside, such as fences, patios, or pools, residents will still need to get a permit -- although permits for pool repair will have no fee.

It's small comfort to Paul Symeonidis, who has more than $100,000 damage to his Macon St. home.

"Well we have to throw everything out. Furniture, everything, everything was sitting in water. Everything is going into the garbage," said Symeonidis.

The borough is collecting garbage from flood zones every day this week, and residents can also bring trash to two dump sites on Pierrefonds Blvd., at René Emard St. and Chateau Pierrefonds Ave.

"We saw a lot of washers, dryers, fridges and stoves," said Johanne Palladini, a spokesperson for the borough.

"We started Saturday and we already picked up 422 tonnes."

Among the items being thrown out: waterlogged sandbags. The borough is asking people to bring those to the dump sites directly, or to place them on the side of the road and to call 3-1-1 for pickup.

For those who need help, assistance is available.

"We have a bank of 300 volunteers people who gave their names to help so we will maybe connect you," said Palladini, saying residents should call the borough for help.

The cleanup, including the dismantling of dikes, is expected to take several weeks.