'It's pretty shocking,' resident says of return to Antigonish trailer park hit by flooding

·2 min read
Joni Mansfield, a resident of the MacDonald Trailer Park, also known as Indian Gardens Trailer Park, says she hopes she can get back to some degree of normalcy soon. (Paul Palmeter/CBC - image credit)
Joni Mansfield, a resident of the MacDonald Trailer Park, also known as Indian Gardens Trailer Park, says she hopes she can get back to some degree of normalcy soon. (Paul Palmeter/CBC - image credit)

Some residents of an Antigonish, N.S., trailer park returned to their homes Wednesday to check out the damage caused by severe flooding the day before.

"It's pretty shocking to come back here," said Joni Mansfield, a resident of the MacDonald Trailer Park, also known as Indian Gardens Trailer Park, off Maclellan Street.

Thirty-three people escaped by boat when the park flooded on Tuesday.

Antigonish Coun. Sean Cameron estimated the water to be more than 1.5 metres deep in some places.

Mansfield said her oil tank flipped over, her living room is destroyed and there's a musky scent.

Paul Palmeter/CBC
Paul Palmeter/CBC

"Everybody here is just in shock at how fast the water came up," she said.

Mansfield is staying in a hotel for up to three days and hopes repairs can be done quickly so she can return home and life can return to some degree of normalcy. She said she has other family members she can stay with if needed.

Paul Palmeter/CBC
Paul Palmeter/CBC

The town said on its Facebook page that some homes at the trailer park will have their power reconnected Wednesday. It said the remaining homes will need to have an inspection done before the power can be hooked up.

Collegeville, south of Antigonish, reported 102 millimetres of rain Tuesday, according to CBC meteorologist Ryan Snoddon.

Antigonish resident Syna Smiley lives near the MacDonald Trailer Park. She said she came home for lunch to find her basement was flooded with around a half-metre of water.

"We were scrambling to get everything to higher ground," she said. "We lost our chicken coop. That floated down the river. And we had a swing and a fire pit, and that's gone, too."

Canada Post announced Wednesday it is suspending mail delivery because weather conditions from flooding have made it unsafe. It said delivery will resume once it is safe to do so.

Public works staff are assessing damage to Route 245. William Cormier, Antigonish's deputy mayor, said high tide Tuesday afternoon during the heavy rain, combined with a full moon, restricted how much water could run into Antigonish harbour from West River, Wrights River and Brierly Brook.

Paul Palmeter/CBC
Paul Palmeter/CBC

"The tide started pushing back and reducing the flow, so the water had to go somewhere and that's where we had our backup," Cormier told the CBC Radio's Information Morning.

Cormier said he's thankful to all the volunteers who helped evacuate the trailer park.

"It's a tough thing to see, but you really see people when they come together, it kind of brings kind of a tear to your eye how good people are," he said.

WATCH | Dramatic scene of washout on Highway 245 Tuesday, north of Maryvale and Antigonish:

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