Homeowners who have been allowed to return to the flooded community of Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac are evaluating how much damage they will have to repair following the breach of a dike.

One-third of the town's residents had to flee this past weekend when a dike holding back the Lake of Two Mountains broke.

Thousands of houses were surrounded by water up to two metres deep, and on Tuesday most of those affected were able to return home to see how much water made its way inside.

However they are being told not to stay in their homes overnight: there is no electricity to the region, and the drinking water is not safe.

Many got straight to work creating piles of waterlogged items onto their front lawns, and the neighbourhood is littered with chairs, children's toys, boxes, and furniture.

The more industrious were ripping out drywall and flooring, just trying to figure out the extent of the flooding.

CTV News spotted one woman Wednesday morning just standing outside her home and sobbing uncontrollably as she struggled to comprehend the full extent of the damage.

The CAQ government has set a lifetime $100,000 cap on compensation for repairing flood damage, and is offering $200,000 to buy out homeowners living in flood plains.

Many residents in Montreal's suburbs said that wouldn't even pay off their mortgage, leaving them no choice but to declare bankruptcy.

Dave Nault, who had patrolled his neighbourhood on a boat earlier in the week, learned that his insurance does not cover flood damage.

"I was able to fill out the claim to a person who wasn't aware of what was going on. What I wanted was a claim number. And I ended up filling out the whole claim and gave a claim and this fellow didn't know about Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac. He took my whole claim and two minutes later the adjuster called me back. Actually he called me three times but I wanted to talk to my lawyer before I talked to him and there's nothing to do. Uninsurable, uninsured. Everything's gone. Everything's coming out of my pockets," said Nault.

He retired six months ago and said he cannot afford to pay for repairs.

He expects it will be weeks before the government lets him know what it will offer.

Residents of 870 houses between 23rd and 29th Ave. have not been allowed home because the water in that section, near the broken dike, is still too deep.