The province announced Friday it will take measures to repair a Truro-area dike that was breached last week, just one day after the agriculture minister said it was not his department's responsibility.
The North River flooded a gravel pit after rushing water broke through what residents believe to be a dike.
On Friday, Truro-Bible Hill MLA Lenore Zann on behalf of Ross Landry, the minister responsible for emergency management, announced the government will be helping protect residents and businesses from flood damage by repairing and reinforcing the barrier.
"The safety of the residents of Truro and their property is our top priority right now," she said in a news release.
But on Thursday, Agriculture Minister John MacDonell said the raised embankment on the North River is a berm, not a dike, and because it was built by a private landowner it's not his department's responsibility.
"The thing I want them to know is we spend a million a year maintaining our dikes. This was not ours and so we worry about them, but this was fresh water. Ours is to keep the ocean back and we really can't control what other people do," he said Thursday.
Liberal agriculture critic Leo Glavine said the repairs should be made in the public's interest, regardless of who owns the structure.
Meanwhile, George Norrie, who owns the dike, said he and his family maintained it until about 30 years ago when the department of environment and federal fisheries took over how it would be managed.
Norrie said government officials botched the job in the past.
"Why would I let anyone go in there and build a half-assed dike again when I know it's going to break 10 years down the road again. I said, they're either going to do it right, or I'm not going to let them do it.
Prior to Friday's announcement, local business owners told CBC News they're worried there will be more flooding if the material that washed away is not replaced.
"I don't know who is to blame, but I think the government should step in anyway, private property or not, and fix the dike," said Nell Shurrmans, owner of Baker's Chest Bed and Breakfast.
At Fundy Grinding, where they are repairing a gutted building, manager Gary Robertson said things have ground to a halt.
"We are at a bit of a sticking point because nobody has repaired the dike and nobody knows who is going to repair the dike, so there is not much point in us moving forward until the rain is over this weekend," said Robertson.
Beverly Whidden, who runs Molly's Dairy Bar, lost a chunk of her developed riverfront.
"Had a the flow of the river been corrected, this dike would never have broken."