Worst is over

Weather sys­tem has fi­nally passed, leav­ing vary­ing lev­els of im­pact in its wake

Cape Breton Post - - Front Page - BY GREG MCNEIL

The worst of the most re­cent weather sys­tem that rained on Cape Bre­ton for al­most a full week has passed, leav­ing vary­ing lev­els of im­pact in its wake.

Across the Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Mu­nic­i­pal­ity some flooded base­ments have been re­ported but noth­ing com­pa­ra­ble to floods that dev­as­tated the lo­cal area over the Thanks­giv­ing week­end.

The rain’s im­pact was much larger in north­ern Cape Bre­ton, though, where roads were dam­aged and closed along the Cabot Trail.

By mid­day Thurs­day, the Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion and In­fra­struc­ture Re­newal re­ported that only two roads were closed to through traf­fic along the trail.

“There’s two large cul­verts that we lost — one is on the west side of Mid­dle River Road and the other is on MacDon­ald Lane, a gravel road,” said Steve MacDon­ald, area man­ager with TIR.

“They are both next to each other; they are very close, only a few hun­dred me­tres apart.”

The failed cul­verts were es­ti­mated to be about 6-8 feet in di­am­e­ter. Re­plac­ing them first re­quires a de­sign re­view from the Depart­ment of the En­vi­ron­ment to de­ter­mine proper siz­ing and con­sid­er­a­tion of things like fish pas­sage.

Once ap­provals come they’ll move on those re­pairs as quickly as pos­si­ble.

The rest of their work in­volves re­pair­ing washed-out shoul­ders.

“We have a list of all the sites that need re­pairs and we are pri­or­i­tiz­ing the higher vol­ume roads first and try­ing to get as much done over the next cou­ple of weeks,” he said.

“It will take a cou­ple of weeks to get around to get most of the sites all touched up prop­erly.”

Vic­to­ria County War­den Bruce Mor­ri­son told the Cana­dian Press on Wed­nes­day that sec­tions of the Cabot Trail were sub­merged un­der wa­ter and im­pass­able.

In ad­di­tion, he said, nu­mer­ous homes in the area have flooded base­ments and the sit­u­a­tion could worsen.

“Most res­i­dents will con­tinue to be very con­cerned un­til rain lets up,” Mor­ri­son said.

“It’s a con­cern not only in res­i­den­tial ar­eas but there has been farm­land af­fected by the con­di­tions.”

In the CBRM, the week of steady rain has sat­u­rated the ground and left wa­ter lev­els very high.

Though ground­wa­ter has been re­ported to be seep­ing into sev­eral base­ments, there are no re­ports of over­land flood­ing of homes or in­fra­struc­ture.

Ray Boudreau, man­ager of the CBRM Pub­lic Works Cen­tral divi­sion said there had been no ma­jor fail­ures of any of their storm wa­ter sys­tems dur­ing the cur­rent rain event.

“We haven’t ex­pe­ri­enced any cul­vert washouts, and there have been no ar­eas along any ma­jor wa­ter­courses where the wa­ter has topped the road­way,” he said.

Over the past few days, he noted that pub­lic works crews have been in­spect­ing all ma­jor wa­ter­ways, brooks, streams, ditches and storm wa­ter sys­tems through­out the city to make sure there are no ob­struc­tions that might im­pede the flow of wa­ter.

“Ba­si­cally, we’ve been work­ing to en­sure that all of the ar­eas where wa­ter needs to travel are open and op­er­at­ing at full ca­pac­ity.”

No record rain­fall amounts were re­ported over the past six days in Cape Bre­ton, ac­cord­ing to En­vi­ron­ment Canada.

How­ever the con­sec­u­tive days of pre­cip­i­ta­tion may have had res­i­dents feel­ing that way.

“We did get a to­tal of 134.5 mil­lime­tres in Syd­ney since May 7 but it was spread out mostly over the last three days or so,” said Bob Ro­bichaud, an En­vi­ron­ment Canada me­te­o­rol­o­gist.

“Around Cape Bre­ton there’s some higher amounts. The high­est was 207.8 mm in St. Anne’s, Bad­deck was about 175 mm, and well over 100 mm in most of the cen­tral and eastern Cape Bre­ton.”

Look­ing at the days ahead, he said the rain sit­u­a­tion should be im­prov­ing over Cape Bre­ton. In fact, things had al­ready started im­prov­ing by late Thurs­day morn­ing when rain fi­nally started to lighten up.

“We are look­ing at maybe a shower (Friday) but not much in the way of ac­cu­mu­la­tion of rain­fall and then it is dry for Satur­day and Sun­day.”

There’s another weather sys­tem mov­ing in late Sun­day night and into Mon­day that will

bring some rain but Ro­bichaud said it will be noth­ing like the is­land had seen over the pre­vi­ous week.


An over­flow­ing stream is seen from Union Street in the north end of Syd­ney. The stream flows be­tween Union and Park streets in the com­mu­nity.


St. Mar­guerite Bour­geoys Catholic Church was dev­as­tated by Thanks­giv­ing floods. Though wa­ters rose around the Syd­ney church over the past week they were not close to the church on Thurs­day.


Wa­ter bub­bles up from a storm drain off Park Street in Syd­ney on Thurs­day morn­ing.

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