Register Saturday | July 13 | 2024

Photo Essay: Water Memories

In summer 2011, I went to the town of Venise-en-Québec (literally, “Venice-in-Quebec”), on the shores of Lake Champlain, which gives way to the Richelieu River and acts as a natural border with Vermont. That spring, the flooding in southern Quebec was record-breaking: it damaged more than three thousand homes and businesses in twenty municipalities, forced more than a thousand Quebecers from their homes, flooded six thousand hectares of farmland and damaged more than $40 million of public infrastructure. Even in unaffected areas nearby, tourism was slow to pick up again. Although nobody died, local people were told they may experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder for up to fifteen years. 

I went to Venise-en-Québec at the highest point of the flooding, on June 1, and then returned the following summer and fall when the water had receded. The resulting photos show vivid contrasts—the damaged landscape and the cleaning effort ...

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