Fire department going door-to-door looking for homeowners to file flood claims

Managing the aftermath of a flood in a community is a big job, but what is that like in a smaller city, like Rigaud? CJAD 800's Shawn Dearn recently toured the flood zone with Rigaud Mayor Hans Gruenwald to find out. 

For starters, the flood zone represents just 10% of the Rigaud's territory, but it's had a big administrative impact. The city had to create two new positions work exclusively on hundreds of flood-files opened by residents. 

Mayor Hans Gruenwald also says it created very serious municipal budget issues. 

"The bottom line is whatever it costs...us the municipality, we cover thirty percent of those," said Gruenwald. "That thirty-percent for a small town like Rigaud is an important amount of money."

Rigaud has dealt with about 100 residents' files, so far, and there are still 177 on-the-go. More troublesome, nearly 100 homeowners still have not opened files at all. 

Rigaud recently resorted to sending the fire department door-to-door each Friday - at additional expense - to encourage folks to get started.

This is on top of earlier costs of contracting the Salvation Army to help residents find temporary accommodation or longer-term apartments. 

With so much effort being put towards the minority or residents that were not touched by flooding, Gruenwald and his team say it is a challenge to maintain regular services to the ninety percent of Rigaud that was unaffected by last year's flooding.