Floods: “Red Cross volunteers are helping us get through this”

People wishing to support the Red Cross response can donate to the Quebec Floods Appeal online or by calling 1-800-418-1111.
 
People impacted by flooding register with Red Cross for assistanceAt the Rigaud public library, a dozen flood-impacted individuals have come to meet Red Cross volunteers in order to register and receive emergency assistance.
 
In the waiting room, the mood is unpredictable. Laughter can quickly give way to sorrow, and for good reason. This is the second flood in three years for most of the residents here.
 
Sylvie says that since 1962, the family home that her father built has only flooded twice: once in 2017, and now in 2019. In light of what seemed like exceptional circumstances in 2017, she and her husband started renovating their home after the damage caused by the 16 inches of water in the house. The work was not even finished, and now history repeats itself.
 
Helping those affected by floodingThis time, she is better prepared and is feeling optimistic. “We’re in protection mode. We just removed the kitchen cabinets that were installed in 2018. Everything has been packed up and put away in the rooms upstairs.” Even still, the water continues to rise and the situation is already critical.
 
Her neighbour is also experiencing a feeling of déjà-vu. Emotions are running high. People had barely recovered from 2017 when the spring floods struck again. Despite the brave faces and forced smiles, you can see the sadness and worry in the eyes of those who have been affected.
 
Beyond Rigaud, the Red Cross has mobilized in various regions to support the municipalities that request its services and meet the urgent needs of those who have been affected. An online has been opened to assist the people and families who are impacted by the spring floods and find themselves in a vulnerable position.
 
Martin is trying to keep things in perspective. There are obviously discouraging moments, but “I’m healthy. Nobody is hurt. Here, the volunteers welcome us and give us advice. They’re helping us get through this.”
 
In the face of adversity, relationships are built within the community. “It brings people together. After 2017, we even threw a little neighbourhood party to reflect on the ‘good’ memories. This year, we recognize each other and lend a hand where we can.”
 
The people of Rigaud are proactive and resilient. They are preparing for disaster while hoping to avoid the worst. In the meantime, they are pulling together and making sure that everyone is doing okay.

Source: Canadian Red Cross

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