Cleanup efforts underway following one of the rainiest days ever on P.E.I.

·4 min read
The rain flooded streets in downtown Charlottetown. (Brian Higgins/CBC - image credit)
The rain flooded streets in downtown Charlottetown. (Brian Higgins/CBC - image credit)

Cleanup efforts are still underway in some areas following Thursday's record-setting rain storm.

Scott Adams, manager of public works for the City of Charlottetown, says crews were up all night working to repair the damage caused by severe flooding in the city's streets.

"Talking to some of our senior staff who have been here for 30, 40 years, this is the worst they ever seen it," he said. "The extreme intensity for a long duration combined with the rising tide later in the afternoon just made for the perfect storm."

Environment Canada reported more than 100 mm of rain fell in Charlottetown and Summerside. The exact amounts:

  • Charlottetown: 128.8 mm.

  • Summerside: 120.7 mm.

  • St. Peters: 96.0 mm.

  • East Point: 53.6 mm.

  • North Cape: 43 mm.

Environment Canada reports it was the rainiest day in the Summerside area since records began in 1898. The previous record was 119.2 mm on Sept. 22, 1942.

It was the third rainiest in Charlottetown, with the record being on that same day in 1942, with 163.8 mm.

More rain fell in just 24 hours Thursday than in any average month for both cities.

The wettest month in Charlottetown is usually October, with an average of 110.3 mm. In Summerside, December is the usual wettest month, with 100.3 mm on average.

Steve Bruce/CBC
Steve Bruce/CBC

All-time records for St. Peters and North Cape were not available, but records for a Sept. 2 were easily broken. The previous record in North Cape was 35 mm in 1983, and in St. Peters 36.6 mm in 1967.

Assessing the damage

Steve Bruce/CBC
Steve Bruce/CBC

Adams said that while the rain was substantial, it only took a few minutes for it to drain out in most places.

"We were very fortunate we only had two areas of a bit of concern," he said. "There's one in St. Peters Road, where we had a road culvert heave, so our folks were in there first thing this morning addressing that issue. Then we had a shoulder washout in a another location of the city.

"We were surprised, very pleased though, [there was] very minor damage considering it was a record rainfall event for us."

Steve Bruce/CBC
Steve Bruce/CBC

Other places were not so lucky. At Holland College, the student parking lot flooded after the storm drains backed up, causing several damage to a lot of vehicles.

"Water got into my car and now I can't turn on my car, and there is water inside, so me and my friend are just scooping out water," first-year culinary student Thais Getsels said.

Steve Bruce/CBC
Steve Bruce/CBC

Stuart Wilson, project manager with damage restoration service ServiceMaster Restore P.E.I., said the volume of calls they've gotten in the last 24 hours has been a bit overwhelming.

"We notice the storms happening a lot more frequently over the past five to 10 years and [they're] more intense. A lot of preparedness could prevent some of this," he said. "A quick walk around the house sometime with the forecast coming can prevent some of the damage."

Steve Bruce/CBC
Steve Bruce/CBC

In Meadowbank, potato farmer Don Godfrey was out this morning assessing the toll the rain may have taken on his fields.

"The only thing I could think of was 'I hope it doesn't damage the crops too much,'" he said. "The rain could've caused rot problems ahead of the harvest season."

Jay Scotland/CBC
Jay Scotland/CBC

Wind gusty as storm moves on

While the rain was mostly done by Friday morning, the wind was still causing problems.

About 1,000 Maritime Electric customers were without power early Friday, with the main problem areas around Borden-Carleton and West Point.

The utility had restored all but 75 customers by 9:30 a.m. The remaining outages were scattered all across the province.

Confederation Bridge
Confederation Bridge

In the Northumberland Strait, winds were gusting as high as 100 km/h and that led to traffic restrictions on Confederation Bridge in the morning.

Also, the province announced that two roads had to be closed due to culvert washouts caused by the storm: the Nebraska Road in Southwest Lot 16 and the York Road (Route 25) from St. Peter's Road to Route 220, the Pleasant Grove Road.

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