Americas

Some Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac residents worry new dike will block view; flood victims call them ‘selfish’

Months after the devastating spring floods in Quebec, work has started to rebuild a dike in Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, about 40 kilometres from Montreal.

The new dike will be three kilometres long and 26.5 metres tall — about 1.5 metres higher than the previous barrier.

Yet, some residents who live on the waterfront say they’re not happy with the new plans; they argue the new structure is too high and will block their view.

“We sold two houses to buy our dream house,” Stephanie Gouin told Global News.

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She explains she bought her large greystone home six years ago. She says she fell in love with the view of the Lac des Deux Montagnes and the close proximity to the water.

With tractors now ripping up dozens of trees that line the waterfront by her home, she worries her idyllic life on the lake is about to end.

“We are going to lose a lot of money,” she said, adding she may no longer have access to her boat.

“We are also going to lose our tranquil lifestyle. They are destroying it.”

There are about 40 homes along the waterfront with views of the lake that could be affected by the new dike. Some homeowners complain they would never have bought their homes had they known what could have happened.

“Instead of looking at the lake and the trees, we will be looking at the hill,” complained Raymond Forget. “I feel like I have been screwed.”

Forget bought his dream retirement home just eight months ago. The half a dozen trees that bordered his property on the water are now gone. Soon, his view will be too.

He complains the town wasn’t transparent with its plans.

“They made decisions, they did not ask me. This is my backyard, they did no task me my opinion or explain their intentions to me clearly,” Forget said.

Just a few streets down, residents whose homes are being demolished this week due to the damage of the floods say they are eager for the bigger dike to be completed.

“The dike protects all the houses over here,” said mobile home resident Jacques Morency.

“At the other end (of town) it’s another thing, but here I think it’s a good thing, a very good thing.”

Evelyne Filion watched with tears in her eyes as a tractor reduced her house to rubble on Thursday. After losing her home to the flood, she says she has little sympathy for residents losing a view.

“It’s really selfish to just say, ‘oh we will lose our view,’” she said.

“It’s selfish. Think about the other ones that will have to rebuild again and again and again. It’s not cool.”

The town did not respond to Global New’s request for an interview. The new dike is expected to be finished by next spring.

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