Post-traumatic stress and flooding
The 2019 floods in southern Quebec caused more than just property damage. “The higher the water, the more rooms the flooded, the greater the risk of developing a mental health disorder” among those affected by the spring floods, concludes Dr.Return Mélissa Généreux, after a survey conducted by researchers from the University of Sherbrooke, the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) and the University of Quebec at Rimouski (UQAR).
The investigation focused on a lesser known aspect of the tragedy: the psychological distress of the victims. Eight to ten months after the events, 3,437 families living in flooded areas agreed to answer a questionnaire prepared by the State Department.Return Karim and his team. Of those surveyed, there were 587 households in Saint-Martin-sur-le-Lac, which were the most affected by the spring flood.
For the purposes of the survey, three categories were identified: people who were flooded, who reported at least one living room flooded, people disturbed, who flooded an uninhabitable area or who had experienced service disruptions, and finally people who were not affected, even if they were living. In a city affected by floods.
Nearly a year after the events of 2019, Dr.Return Genro is also a professor at the University of Sherbrooke and the health program coordinator at the Uranus Consortium.
Thus, nearly half (44%) of those flooded showed moderate to severe symptoms of PTSD, in contrast to 14.6% for those disturbed by the floods and 3% for those unaffected. We also observed more mental disorders (38%), anxiety disorders (20%), and mood disturbances (19.5%) in people who were overwhelmed.
If the events themselves are an obvious source of stress, the team has also identified several secondary stress factors that are likely to affect victims’ mental health, such as emotional support deemed insufficient, and insurance not covering floods or loss of life. The fact of having to resort to a bank loan.
For some, the secondary pressures are a second disaster. It could lead to great distress, “Dr.Return Melissa Janeiro.
However, unlike floods, which we have no control over, we have greater control over these secondary pressures, ”adds the person who was the Director of Public Health for the Istrian District at the time of the Lake Megantic tragedy.
This is also one of the findings of the study, which is the reinforcement of various social and economic measures after this tragedy. “People can still have health problems for a very long time after such an event,” Melissa Janeiro concludes.
The counter is running …
The theme of floods in the context of climate change is the subject of several other presentations this year at the Acfas conference. Matthew Bodrault is a professor of mathematics at UQAM and was interested in a new measure of the disaster victim financial aid program which has, since 2019, provided limited lifetime coverage of successive floods.
Since 2019, every flood is no longer treated independently to determine damages that can be compensated for the victims. For someone who received financial aid from the Quebec government that year, “the meter started turning,” explains Matteo Bodrallt. Thus, if additional floods cause more damage to the same property, future claims will be deducted from the $ 100,000 lifetime limit. Victims will then have the option of obtaining additional compensation to be taken away or the risk that potential damage over the years will not erode the total amount to the maximum.
What are these risks? That’s what Matteo Bodrault wanted to know by studying the costs of floods over a 25-year period. Premier constat: une maison située dans une zone inondée tous les 20 ans ou moins a 70% plus de risques d’être inondée que les autres sur une période de 25 ans, et 35% plus de risques d’être inondée plus d’une Once.
For a $ 250,000 home that enters water through a basement, the average total costs for a 25-year period are $ 50,000 with a 10% probability that they will exceed $ 100,000. For a property of equal value, where you’ll get water straight from Level 1, the average costs rise to $ 175,000, with a 70% chance of going over the limit.
“I thought it had gone under the radar in 2019 [ces nouvelles dispositions]But it is important because it can represent financial risks, ”Matteo Podrault points out. Flood risks that can also increase in certain areas of Quebec due to climate change.
See the stars in the heart of Sherbrooke
Two professors from Cégep de Sherbrooke, who specialize in the study of light pollution, decided to pool their knowledge to realize a project aimed at making the Milky Way visible in the heart of Sherbrooke.
To achieve this, Professors Johann Ruby and Martin Aub addressed the source of the problem: urban lighting in Mont Bellevue Park and its surroundings. First they made an inventory of the sources of light pollution. Then, with support from the municipality, CEGEP, Université de Sherbrooke, and Bishop University, they replaced hundreds of light sources with 1500 K bulbs, which diffuse less bright light.
Thanks to the crowdfunding campaign, they have also purchased light bulbs that will be given to residents of a neighborhood near Mont Bellevue, “in the hope of making it a model neighborhood,” said Johan Ruby in an interview with Journalism.
Im adds, “Within a month, we will have reached our goal.”I Ruby, who notes the audience’s extraordinary cooperation. We even have dealers who have embarked on the project. ”
Moreover, the chemistry teacher does not hide her enthusiasm for this project. “We want Sherbrooke to be the first city in the world to have good lighting practices.”
All you have to do next is watch the stars at the top of Mont Bellevue on a beautiful summer evening.