Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Flood of Gratitude

On Friday, I anchored the evening news live from St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, the site of extensive flooding. The army is on the ground helping residents cope. Friday morning, Hydro-Meteo reported the water level of the Richelieu River at 30.69 metres, a metre higher than the normal 29.70 metres at which the river normally flows. About 3,000 homes have been affected and several houses are complete write-offs. A thousand people have been forced from their homes.

Doubtless, flood victims will be ripped-off by government compensation programs. That's unfortunate and wrong.

While on-site, I learned the importance of wind and wind direction in the propagation of flood waters. I was under the impression rainfall was the most devastating contributing factor.

We were lucky enough to find local residents willing to let us set-up our cameras on their front lawn and our microwave truck on their driveway. Sean Moore and his wife Lucie, later explained their decision by saying it's important to show viewers what's going on. One of our reporters covering the story, Gloria, snapped some photos.

Sean has been piling sandbags for neighbors and was paddling people and his own children up and down the street, so they could attempt to get on with their lives. Both Sean and Lucie are in the military and shared their rather stark logic with regard to serving tours of duty in dangerous parts of the world. They explained they simply want to be able to "do their jobs", even if those jobs involve engaging the enemy and the risk of dying.

Sean, one of our cameramen and I climbed into his canoe and taped an interview, which we broadcast during our program. He paddled us around the street as I asked him about the flood situation. We also did a live interview with the mayor of St Jean-sur-Richelieu.

For me, it was an extremely positive experience and there are a lot of people to thank, including Sean, his wife and our crews.

I hope our host's family and home emerge from the flood unscathed.

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