The Bay: the evacuees in shock

The Bay: the evacuees in shock


Monday evening, 48 hours after the evacuations forced by an increased risk of landslides, it is still the shock wave in the borough of La Baie, in Saguenay.< /p>

The situation is so critical that elected officials have asked Quebec to declare a state of emergency. And systematically, the request was approved.

The victims were met Monday afternoon by the authorities, at the Théâtre du Palais Municipal de La Baie. Even if some say they are reassured, the situation remains very abstract for them, especially for the long term.

The hundred new evacuees were informed of the assistance programs of the Ministry of Public Security from which they will be able to benefit, in the same way as the residents previously evacuated. However, it was mainly a question of the help offered in the short term, at least for the next three days, with regard to the accommodation offered, in particular by the Municipal Housing Office and the Red Cross. .

The victims had to fill out documents and submit a specimen check. They will be called back over the next few days to be informed of what's next.

“We're going for that [for] several months, staying with friends in a room is not obvious. We have three children too,” said an evacuated mother.

“We don't have a fixed period, it can take a few days, maybe a week,” lamented a resident who is also asking Prime Minister François Legault to establish a clearer plan as to the procedures that will be initiated. for the rest of things.

“It's early, we emptied our houses in the middle of the night, it hasn't been that long. I don't know how ready I am right now to comfort myself and tell myself that there is no risk,” explained another disaster victim.

“I don't feel like it. no more going back to that house!” exclaimed an evacuated resident, who said he no longer felt safe to return to his home if this possibility presented itself to him in the future.

In the meantime, they benefit from an amount of $20 per day, per person for living expenses. According to the results of analyzes by engineers from the Ministère des Transports (MTQ) and the firm Englobe, people will know more about which assistance program they can refer to. The latter comes in three parts: stabilization, relocation or severance pay. While some residences could be solidified in order to be inhabited again, others could be moved elsewhere. In the worst-case scenario, people will receive compensation which currently ranges from $210,000 excluding the land and $260,000 including the land. Everything is yet to be confirmed. However, the mayor of Saguenay, Julie Dufour, admits that the amounts are insufficient and asks that it be increased.

“In the current context where we are already short of materials, where the damage is extremely high, I expect that the compensation for the city will be improved. The only answer we don't have right now is when there will be a landslide,” explained Julie Dufour.

Premier François Legault also spoke about the subject Monday. “We know that someone who loses their house in a situation like that is entitled to $260,000. 210,000 for the house, 50,000 for the land. We will see if it is necessary to improve it”, he mentioned.

“A race against time”

The situation is critical, Ms. Dufour has also mentioned that currently, it is “a race against time, nature and the human”. It is not a question of whether another landslide could occur, but rather when and to what extent? Will the security perimeter be expanded? Everything is possible.

Currently, experts from the MTQ and Englobe are busy carrying out coring, particularly at the bottom of the embankment. Security will also be enhanced. An evacuee told TVA Nouvelles that surveillance cameras with sound will be installed to warn potential prowlers to leave the security perimeter and avoid misdeeds. The fences will also be strengthened.

A total of 187 people are currently being evacuated, which totals 76 residences. Obtaining the decree of the state of emergency will nevertheless speed up the process. For the rest, everyone is holding their breath and hoping for the best for the future, as far as possible.