Evaluation of damage caused by flooding, road washing in Atlantic Canada after heavy rains


Barry – A devastating rainstorm that shook Atlantic Canada has eliminated roads and flooding along the west coast of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.

Efforts are now underway in some areas to assess the damage and reopen major transit routes, though officials say it could take weeks to clean up from the storm.

Here’s a closer look at what’s going on.

Port aux Basques

Residents and officials in Port aux Bask, NL have expressed concern over the shortage of supplies after major rainfall washed away major transit routes.

The mayor of the small town, Brian Button, told CTV’s Your Morning that four different washouts were reported on the Trans-Canada Highway.

He said provincial officials were still unable to go to town to assess the damage because the weather had “not given up enough.”

“But hopefully everyone from the conference call will be on the field this morning,” he said.

Currently, accessing health care is a big concern, Button said.

He said Port Aux Basques relies heavily on Corner Brook for most medical services.

Button said that because the roads are washed away, access to those services is difficult.

“However, we are assured that the authorities are looking at that end of things and we do not have to worry about things there,” he said.

Button said he was concerned that the town could have problems getting other supplies and urged residents not to overuse or store items.

“Get what you want and we’ll hopefully get here.”

Record rain

In a tweet on Thursday, Environment Canada said it had rained 165.1 millimeters in the past two days.

“This sets the all-time record for the highest rainfall in two days for a southwest coastal town,” the tweet read.

Button said officials will devise a recovery and cleaning plan once the assessments are completed and the damage is assessed.

“Until that is over, we don’t really know, and we don’t have an idea of ​​how we will put all this in motion right now,” he said.

Some ferry service has been restored

Meanwhile, preparations are also underway to temporarily resume the Argentine – North Sydney ferry.

In a press release issued Thursday morning, Marine said restarting the Atlantic ferry service would help provide the province with a sea connection to transport both people and “critical supplies.”

“Following a request from the provincial government, Marine Atlantic has implemented its contingency plan to temporarily restart the Argentine ferry service,” the instruction reads.

The first sailing schedule between North Sydney, NS and Argentina, NL is scheduled to depart Atlantic Time on Thursday at 5pm, the company said.

Nova Scotia

Meanwhile, in Nova Scotia, heavy rain has caused havoc and washing up in Victoria, Antigonish and Inverness counties.

Speaking to CTV on Your Morning on Thursday, Jason Mew, director of incident management at the Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office, said crews are working to determine “several dozen roads” and damage to at least five bridges.

The safe will be reopened as soon as possible, he said.

Mew said provincial officials are in touch with municipalities to determine what support is needed and where.

“The provincial coordination center is now enabled,” he explained. “What we do at the provincial level, we coordinate the overall government response to emergencies like this.”

According to Mew, “some people” have been evacuated from their homes.

“They are currently being looked after,” he said.

Mew said staff and insurance companies are evaluating their homes to determine when it is safe to return.

Mew said the province is working with Environment Canada to ensure they do the work in a safe manner while waiting for water levels to drop.

“We’ve got a lot of rain, up to 280 millimeters in some places,” he said. “So the public works and the various departments that are trying to assess this damage should be able to get in there and do those inspections safely without risking some of the employees doing that work.”

Mew said his biggest concern right now is to reopen the roadways.

“A lot of roads have been washed away. We have another way to get around,” he said. “But it’s always nice to have the main roads open as soon as possible for someone to go somewhere quickly.”

A county-wide emergency was lifted Wednesday afternoon in Victoria, but residents should only travel if necessary, officials said.

Niels Harbor was also advised of boiling water, and an emergency water utility management service was set up to repair storm damage to the system, officials said.

Feds ‘Stand By’ for Help

In a tweet on Wednesday afternoon, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his support for Atlantic Canada.

“I know it’s not easy to go through this and I know you’re worried,” he wrote. “We’ve got your back – and we’re standing by to provide whatever help you and your community need. Please be safe.”

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