Feels a little like ’87…

05.30.12

Yesterday’s flash flooding in Montreal caused pipes and sewers to back up, led to water damage in homeowners’ basements, and caused and power outages across the city. Public buildings across downtown were evacuated as they filled with water. The metro’s orange line was down for several hours as several stations flooded. And roadways turned into rivers as our crumbling infrastructure failed to hold up under the water weight.

Photo Credit: Veronique Benhamou. Source: Montreal Gazette.

Flooding at the Palais de Congres. Photo Credit: Veronique Benhamou. Source: Montreal Gazette.

While the flooding did not cause any catastrophic damages in the traditional sense of the word, it did raise chilling echos of the Flood of ’87, and more recently, flooding in 2005. Each time this happens, it only underscores the urgent state of disrepair of our roads, sewers, water mains and infrastructure. But nobody ever seems to do anything about it.

Many homeowners are also discovering the hard way this morning that flood insurance does not exist in Canada. No insurance company offers it; you cannot buy it even if you want to. Extended clauses for water damage specifically exclude flooding. This is something that desperately needs to be changed, through regulation if necessary.

I was lucky; my apartment’s up on the third floor and escaped any damage. I got a bit drenched walking outside in the rain, and an event I attended at a local pub was a bit hindered by the fact that the pub’s kitchen had flooded so they weren’t serving food, but that’s about the extent of it.  A number of my friends were not so lucky, with flooded basements and exploding toilets and drains.

As for the student protesters, I’m thinking they could’ve put their pots and pans to good use: bailing water.

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