By Rhonda Massad
The battle scars from the great spring flood of 2017 run deep in many municipalities in Quebec. Pierrefonds is no exception. Pierrefonds Mayor Jim Beis is doing everything he can to better prepare the city and residents should water once again reach emergency levels.
“Last year we experienced flood levels of extraordinary proportions,” said Beis in an interview. “We have not seen the combination of events that lead to the 2017 flood in the past 100 years. The water table rose to high levels, the storm sewers backed up and the rain was relentless. Our priority is always the safety and lives of our residents.”
Pierrefonds opened their official Facebook page during the state of emergency and has not stopped working on ways to effectively reach and educate residents since. The city recently published a residents emergency guide that was delivered to every home with the help of the Mayor, Council as well as public security.
“Our current focus is on educating the population on how to prepare for a flood like we experienced last year,” Beis stated. “We just put out a video on how to block a basement window effectively. We use Facebook, Twitter, RSS feed and code red to effectively communicate to our residents. The Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feed effectively delivers the latest news directly to your mobile or computer screen. Our goal is to give residents much need information in the palm of their hands quickly.”
Pierrefonds has also purchased specific flood barriers equipment that will save time and money. The city has put contracts in place to avoid high demand prices during a crisis.
“We started when the flood occurred by reinforcing the natural dikes. We raised a lot of areas that we knew were problematic to minimize the sandbags. We have contracts in place for pumps and have purchased 30,000 sandbags.”
The city has purchased Water-Gate™ systems, a rapid, self-deploying barrier using the weight of the water to stop the water. Its unique design allows the water to flow inside the barrier and to deploy itself automatically, stabilizing itself on the spot.
Also, the city will be using the Muscle Wall system which can withstand the immense force of rushing or standing water due to its patented toe design. This reusable system is an effective sandbag replacement that can be put up in minutes.