Jeffrey Levesque hasn’t slept in a bed in 6 months.
“It’s been a living hell..honestly, I go to work and I beat the heat and fight flies..every day and I come home and sit on my lawn and beat flies the same,” he said.
Levesque lives with his son Caleb and Caleb’s girlfriend Sam. The three have spent the last week and a half living in tents, and for months before that..lived in another man’s home. Their home in Wapske sits no more than 100 yards away from where a freight train derailed in January. The three living there are three of 150 people forced from their homes during the time of the derailment. After the derailment and controlled explosion, they returned home.. to a complete mess.
“The siding was melted off, windows cracked..the smell was unbearable..water everywhere on my floors running down the walls the ceilings were ruined,” he said.
Levesque said that CN Rail brought in a contractor to fix the damage and he calls what was done to fix his home a “shotty job”. He says the siding on his home is falling apart – there’s mold in one room upstairs, there is still a smoke odor, and he still doesn’t have running water. It’s been deemed non-livable by a local project engineer. He said he hasn’t received any help from CN since.
“I feel like I’ve been lied to. When they stood here in January and shook everyone’s hands in front of the news cameras it was everything’s great and when they left, it was screw you,” he said.
Director of Public and Government Affairs Jim Feeny of CN rail told NewsSource 8 that CN honors all legitimate claims relating to damages suffered as result of a CN incident, response or remediation – and they say in Levesque’s case they’ve satisfied that. Levesque says it’s just cost him more.
“Every day is a battle. Every day we get up and you’ve gotta figure out how you’re going to live that day. Are you going to be able to live here – what’s the next thing coming at us? Are we going to eat tonight? There’s days we only eat a couple hot dogs because that’s all we can afford right now,” said Levesque.
And this past weekend’s storm didn’t help them at all – their home got even more water, and their tents were blown over and soaked.
“I’m tired of living in a tent and I’m tired of starving to death,” he said.
Right now Levesque has a lawyer and is hoping to sue CN in defense of the home he’s lived in all his life – but he says he is considering moving to an apartment to get things somewhere close to back to normal.
We reached out to the carpenter Carter Edgar to get his side of the story and we heard back from him just moments ago. Edgar said quote “This is based on greed. He’s using me as the scapegoat to get more money out of CN..99 percent of his claims aren’t legit. There is nothing structurally wrong with the house. I told him I would go back but I’m not allowed on his property.”