Plan to raise Lalande Blvd. would not have saved homes: Pierrefonds Mayor

As water levels around Montreal continue to recede, some Pierrefonds-Roxboro residents are wondering what could have been.

In 2008 the borough had proposed a plan that would have seen Lalande Blvd. raised above the 20-year flood line. Last year the municipality got the plan approved but following public consultations, the plan was scrapped. 

"Most of the residents, if not all of them, decided that at that point they didn't think they needed it and didn't want that boulevard to be raised" Pierrefonds-Roxboro mayor Dimitrios (Jim) Beis told CJAD 800.

While hindsight is 20/20, Beis said even had the work been done, the homes and daycare on the street would have still been caught in the historic flooding, which at its peak surpassed the 100 year flood line.

"Lalande Blvd. would have been raised in a small section that still would have required sandbagging through its length" he said.

The overwhelming water levels would have still breached the dike. Regardless, some still wonder if a raised street would have at least reduced the damage to their home.

For now everyone will need to put the past behind them and look to the present prevention and future cleanup.

The military has been working hard to help out where it can, despite some criticism from residents. There have been complaints soldiers have been absent in some areas of the borough.

According to Capt. Pierre Leblanc, with the armed forces' public security division, it's a question of strategy and priority.

"In the garden you have a hospital, so we have to prioritize those for the infrastructure before the houses of the people," Capt. Leblanc said. "It's very heart breaking, but we need to prioritize."

The army, along with firefighters and police worked through the day and night to reinforce a large dike near the western tip of the island.

- With files from Emily Campbell