Victoria County braces for more rain amid cleanup effort

·3 min read
Premier Tim Houston surveyed storm damage in Victoria County on Saturday. (Communications Nova Scotia - image credit)
Premier Tim Houston surveyed storm damage in Victoria County on Saturday. (Communications Nova Scotia - image credit)

There is more rain coming for hard-hit Victoria County and that is not a forecast people in the area want to hear.

Wind and rain caused major damage to the area last week as a storm lashed the province.

Environment Canada is predicting up to 70 millimetres of rain early this week.

Victoria County deputy warden Larry Dauphinee, is concerned about the effect more rain will have on the recovery efforts.

"It's definitely going to slow down any operations that are going on right now," he said, "And I guess my main concern is that we're going to have more damage where our [road] shoulders haven't been replaced.

"We are a little concerned about what damage is going to be done to the rest of the highways and the [infrastructure] that we have in place."

Submitted by Guillotino Shuxley
Submitted by Guillotino Shuxley

Dauphinee said people and supplies have been on the move using boats and helicopters.

The Department of Public Works has been concentrating on areas that have been blocked off, he said, noting that not much work has been done in the Ingonish area.

Dauphinee said people in the Tarbotvale area remain cut off. He said two residents have been moved out of White Point, but Neils Harbour is still blocked.

District 4 Coun. Barbara Longva said everyone will be monitoring the weather.

Submitted by Guillotino Shuxley
Submitted by Guillotino Shuxley

Longva said the Department of Transportation and Infrastruture and the Emergency Management Office have been hard at work to get the highways and bridges back in order and have been looking after essentials in the meantime.

"It's been excellent at all levels — municipal, provincial and federal," Longva said.

"Everyone's been so helpful and the communities have really come together."

She said food and prescriptions were flown to people who needed them by helicopter on Saturday. Wood and other essentials were making their way Sunday to people on Tarbotvale Road and Oregon Road.

Rebecca Barron, a resident of Tarbotvale Road, said her husband was one of the people helping with the effort to ferry wood to people in the area on Sunday.

She said a temporary road being built where the road was washed out is almost complete and residents just have to wait for the bridge to be repaired.

Craig Paisley/CBC
Craig Paisley/CBC

Despite the forecast for more rain, Barron said she is not overly concerned.

"I think they were going to be reinforcing along that bank. As long as they have some kind of armour stone or something there that it should be fine."

On Saturday, Premier Tim Houston visited Antigonish and Neils Harbour by helicopter to see the storm damage for himself.

Houston told the CBC's Stéphanie Blanchet that he wanted those affected by the damage to know that the province supports them.

"We'll do whatever we can working with municipalities and the federal government to help them get their lives back together," Houston said

Steve Lawrence/CBC
Steve Lawrence/CBC

Also Saturday, Robie Gourd of Parks Canada's Cape Breton field unit said road repairs are ongoing, but he urged people to "temper their expectations" for a quick fix.

"We're working as fast and as safely as we can," Gourd said. " We want to make sure we can get at least one lane open. That's the goal."

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