New flooding causes road damage in Municipality of Pontiac

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Added: Wed, 11/08/2017 - 10:40pm
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Carl Hager

MUNICIPALITY OF PONTIAC –  Traffic came to a halt in the Municipality of Pontiac in the aftermath of a deluge of rain that occurred on Sunday, October 29th and Monday October 30th.  A record rainfall of over 100 mm in a 24 hour period, flooded roads, fields and houses.
“We are doing an assessment of the damages done by Sunday’s rain, and have set priorities for repairs on the most critical areas, like the wash out on Alary Road.” said Pontiac’s mayor Roger Larose, as he took Sunday and Monday off from his re-election campaign, to survey the municipality’s critical needs.
“We will send out tenders very quickly to get Alary fixed. We are hoping the MTQ (Quebec’s Ministry of Transport) will help us. Other
municipalities were also hurt by the rain,” he noted.
Over twenty roads in the Municipality of Pontiac were affected by the storm. During the height of the rain and the ensuing flooding, critical communication arteries including Highway 148, Mountain Road, Terry Fox, and the Eardley-Masham Road were all closed due to high water levels.
A major culvert at the eastern end of the four lane highway washed out creating a hole over 10 feet deep, and 30 feet across, stranding residents from access to the highway. They had to use a neighbour’s field to get to a passable road.
Kennedy Road suffered damage again and the bridge crossing the west end of River Road had its pavement rippled, after the base washed out. Major work is required to repair it.
On the Eardley-Masham Road, waters ran off the mountain from Churchill Falls, gouging a hole beside the bridge that spans the stream; fortunately the bridge held but the guardrails were loosened.
As well as road damage, fields were flooded to look like small lakes, and basements of houses, which usually never see water, were flooded when sump pumps failed to keep up with the deluge.
Acclaimed District 3 councillor, Tom Howard said, “I was really impressed by the response of our municipal workers and volunteer firefighters. They did a great
job putting up roadblock signs where necessary and delivering gravel to prevent even greater erosion.” He added that most of the roads are already passable but
finishing all the repairs (for instance the bridge repair) will take longer due to the need for an engineer’s assessment.