INGONISH, NS – Denise and Frank Doucette spent a good part of Wednesday in ankle-deep water.
The Cape Bretoners were nowhere outside – they were in their basement.
Their was one of many homes in Ingonish with lawns, backyards, front alleys and basements flooded after heavy rains and winds on Tuesday brought more than 200 millimeters of rain to the community.
âI’ve lived here since 1985, which is about 36 years, and it’s the worst rainstorm ever,â said Frank Doucette. âThese atmospheric rivers are something new to us now. If it is to be more frequent or more severe, if it is (then), we will have to move to higher ground. ”
Doucette had two inches of water in her basement at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, and he and Denise were busy cleaning up the mud, grass, and other outdoor scraps washed up by the floodwaters.
âI did well, I had a few inches (of water) in my basement,â he said. “But my mom, she didn’t do that well and my next door neighbor, he’s probably about four or five feet in his basement.” So I’m a little lucky. “
Doucette said the carpet and rugs in their basement were destroyed and they had damaged hardwood floors that were being stored in the basement for upstairs work. However, it is just happy that no one was killed in severe flooding in Victoria County, which declared a state of emergency on Tuesday night in the storm that hit all three Maritime provinces.
â(We) are now isolated (with) the roads north (of Ingonish) washed away,â Frank said, referring to several bridges in Victoria County that were completely washed away by the floodwaters.
Lyle Donovan, Emergency Management Office coordinator for Victoria County, commented on the ongoing state of emergency in the region which on Wednesday ordered residents to stay in and off the roads.
âWe are asking people to take shelter in place because we want the crews and everyone to be safe. It created a bit of chaos with people unnecessarily. What we are afraid of is that someone will be hurt.
Victoria County Director Bruce Morrison said some areas of the municipality were more affected than others and the storm had more impact north of Smokey.
âOur primary concern is the safety and security of our residents,â said Morrison. âIn and around the Ingonish area and Neils Harbor are two areas of concern at the moment. â¦ Some roads have been compromised and some bridges (compromised) as well. “
The Department of Public Works was on site Wednesday to assess the condition of the affected roads and bridges.
At 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, the following roads and bridges were closed in Victoria County:
- Golden brook bridge
- Cabot Trail near Black Point
- Cabot Trail from New Haven Road to Ingonish
- Prairie Route
- Tarbotvale Road
- Oregon Highway, North River
- Tarbot Road West
- East Margaree Cross Road
- Pointe Blanche road
- New Haven Road from New Haven Bridge to Neils Harbor
- Yankee Line Route
- Barra Glen Road
- Middle River Road, West Side
- Ingonish Beach Chemin Doucette
In Inverness County:
- East Big Intervale Road to Harts Bridge
- Orangedale-Iona Road
“The other thing that concerns us (about) is that it could be a rainy event (Wednesday night) and on weekends, so we are obviously very concerned as we go along with the weather. “said Morrison.
Premier Tim Houston told a news conference on Wednesday morning that the record-breaking rainstorm in parts of eastern Nova Scotia was “pretty frightening” for many and that the federal government had strained hand with help.
âThe Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office is working with affected municipalities and other partners, including the Department of Public Works and (the Department of Health and Wellness), to coordinate efforts in the counties from Pictou, Antigonish, Inverness and Victoria, âsaid Houston.
ââ¦ If you’ve had a chance to see some of the photos and hear some of the stories, the damage has been pretty significant.â¦ We will assess what is needed and the federal government has said it will be there to help. support. We will not hesitate to take them back if necessary. But for now, the first priority is to make sure people are safe and then to assess how we are moving forward â, did he declare.
Inverness County has also faced road scours, but to a lesser extent, said Keith MacDonald, county administrative director.
âThere has been flooding in some areas, particularly along East Margaree Cross Road and East Big Intervale Road,â MacDonald said. âThe road closure at West Lake Ainslie has been lifted, but Nova Scotia Public Works will also be evaluating the municipality’s gravel roads over the next few days.
âFortunately, there were limited power outages and we have no reports of anyone being isolated during the weather event. ”
– With files from Ian Nathanson
Jessica Smith is an environment, climate change and natural resources reporter for the Cape Breton Post. Follow her on Twitter at @CBPost_Jessica.