Could take “days or weeks” to repair parts damaged by Cape Breton floods

It could be “days or weeks” before things return to normal in the flood-ravaged areas of Cape Breton following the rain and windstorm that swept across Nova Scotia , according to a provincial transportation official.

Jamie Chisholm, director of the eastern district of the Department for Transport, said on Wednesday that the hardest hit areas were Inverness and Victoria counties.

“We have had several compromised bridges, some completely washed out, several roads which are impassable at the moment,” he said.

The Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office declared a state of emergency Tuesday night in Victoria County after heavy rains washed roads. The state of emergency was lifted at noon on Wednesday.

Parts of the Cabot Trail, a 298-kilometer highway loop in northern Cape Breton, are washed out and closed, Chisholm said, and the Gold Brook Bridge at Middle River has been “compromised” and is closed.

A man tried to cross flood waters on St. Peters Road in Sydney, Nova Scotia on Wednesday morning and got stranded. (Holly Connors / CBC)

“A lot of, we’re going to find, I guess, more damage as the water recedes, because it’s really hard to tell until the water recedes,” he said. . “It’s probably easier to describe the number of roads that don’t have problems than those that do.”

The Emergency Management Office is asking residents of Inverness and Victoria counties to stay off the roads.

Lyle Donovan, EMO coordinator in Victoria County, said more than a dozen roads were washed away and a man was injured when his car got stuck on one of the damaged roads.

“People were moving, everyone was curious, wanting to see the damage there. But when we found out the roads were mined and runoff was happening – and it did, in fact, when someone one was passing over it last night and his truck went into a laundry area, ”he said.

A ditch spilled onto the road Tuesday in the Cape Breton Highlands. (Sarah Barrington)

Greg Weir, of Victoria County Water Utility, said Neils Harbor in northern Cape Breton was subject to a boil water advisory. He said there was a leak somewhere in the water supply system, but officials do not know where and crews are struggling to get around due to the condition of the roads.

Residents of nearby Ingonish reported being essentially cut off because the only roads leading into and out of the community were impassable on Wednesday morning. Victoria County Council. Larry Dauphinee said late Wednesday morning that the road to Ingonish from Sydney had reopened.

He said there was still a major blockage on the other side of the community on the Cabot Trail just past the Broad Cove Campground. This means the community is cut off from Buchanan Memorial Hospital in Neils Harbor.

Several holes at the Highland Links Golf Course in Ingonish, Nova Scotia remained submerged after heavy rains on Tuesday. The screenshots above were taken 24 hours apart, the most recent, below, taken on Wednesday morning. (Photos from Nova Scotia webcams)

Precipitation and wind gusts

According to preliminary precipitation totals collected by Environment Canada at 8 p.m. Tuesday, parts of Cape Breton were affected to more than 100 millimeters. Ingonish Beach recorded 211 millimeters.

Sydney received 150 millimeters, which is less than the 225 millimeters recorded during the Thanksgiving Day flooding in October 2016. This rain event inundated Sydney’s Ashby neighborhood and destroyed around 20 homes.

“I hope the rain will stop soon and that the flooding we are currently seeing is approaching its peak,” Christina Lamey said Wednesday morning, speaking on behalf of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, urging people not to go past the barricades.

“We have had cases of people bypassing barricades and being stranded in the water.”

Terry Drohan stands Wednesday morning in front of the lot where his old home was located in Sydney, Nova Scotia. It had to be demolished after extensive damage from the 2016 Thanksgiving storm. (Holly Connors / CBC)

Terry Drohan, who lived on St. Peters Road in Sydney before the 2016 floods left his home irreparably damaged, visited the now empty lot after torrential downpours this week.

“Here it is, still a lake five years later.

This vehicle stalled after entering deep water nearby. It had to be towed. (Holly Connors / CBC)

He bought a house on Park Street two blocks away and said he had a “pretty hectic” Tuesday night.

“My sump pumps ran until about 11 am last night, then the water rose so high that it started to come in through the basement doors, so my basement is completely flooded,” he said. he declared.

Collegeville, south of Antigonish, reported 102 millimeters of rain at 8 p.m. Tuesday, and Port Hawkesbury received 101 millimeters.

Maximum wind gusts reached 140 km / h on the Skyline Trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park and 134 km / h at Saint-Joseph du Moine near Chéticamp.

Parks Canada has closed the section of the Cabot Trail from Neils Harbor to Ingonish in Cape Breton Highlands National Park due to flooding. Authorities said they would assess the damage at dawn.

Inverness County Manager Keith MacDonald said he had received reports of some flooded basements in the Margaree area, but had not heard of any significant damage to the houses. He also said the county’s seven sewage treatment plants were functioning well on Wednesday morning.

White Point community cut off

Murdock Burton, who lives in White Point, located about 170 kilometers north of Sydney, said residents of his community were cut off from the rest of the island because of the scouring roads.

He shared dramatic photos on Facebook Wednesday morning showing the damage.

Murdock Burton posted on Facebook this photo of White Point Road, which was swept by heavy rains, cutting off local residents from the rest of Cape Breton. (Murdock Burton / Facebook)

“It’s probably, by far, the worst we’ve ever seen. You know, I’ve never seen so much rain in a short period of time,” said Burton.

Burton estimates 20 to 30 people are affected by leaching roads in his area.

“We’re kind of used to it, we grew up in the country and it comes with work,” Burton said. “But we often wonder, if something did happen, how would we get out? We hope there won’t be an emergency or something like that.”

Antigone floods

In Antigonish, public works personnel assess the damage to Highway 245 and flooding at MacDonald Trailer Park, also known as Indian Gardens Trailer Park, near Maclellan Street. Thirty-three people escaped by boat when the park was flooded on Tuesday.

WATCH | Spectacular washout of Route 245 on Tuesday, north of Maryvale and Antigonish:

Power outages persist Wednesday afternoon, with around 200 customers left without service, mostly in Cape Breton, with the big ones in Sydney and River Bourgeois.

Marine Atlantic has canceled all Wednesday crossings between Cape Breton and Newfoundland.

Nova Scotians assess the damage after the storm

Massive amounts of rain washed away roads and flooded basements in the province. Cape Breton and Antogonish paid the price. 9h00

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