A devastating rain storm that rocked Atlantic Canada has left washed-out roads and flooding along the northeastern coasts of Nova Scotia and southwestern Newfoundland.
Efforts are underway to assess damage and reopen important transport routes in some areas, although officials say clearing up from the storm could take weeks. Meanwhile, some communities are experiencing shortage of gas and other essential commodities.
Take a closer look at what’s happening.
‘There is no bread in the city’
Residents and officials in southwestern Newfoundland are concerned about a lack of supplies after heavy rains washed away important transport routes.
Port aux Basque, NL resident Robert Hinks says the city is already running low on essentials.
“There’s no bread in town right now, no eggs to buy, fresh milk is running out,” Hinkes told The Canadian Press on Thursday. “People are going to gas stations and gasping for fear of running out of gas,[but]you can’t go anywhere anyway.”
There are three gas stations in town, “(But) none of the refueling trucks can go in… I think they’ll be empty by next week.”
In the nearby town of Kodroy, fire chief Brian Osmond said four roads in the area were washed away, leaving 14 families stranded.
“We are making arrangements to make sure their needs are met,” Osmond told The Canadian Press.
Osmand said surrounding communities missed their regular, weekly shipments of bread, milk and eggs on Wednesday, leading to shortages.
“We may be able to staple back into the community,” he said.
Port aux Basque Mayor Brian Button said access to health care is currently the biggest concern.
He said the city relies heavily on Corner Brook – a large city in the area – for many medical services.
However, as roads are flooded, Button said those services may be difficult to access.
“But, we have been assured by the authorities that things are being taken care of at that end, and we don’t have to worry about things there,” he told Granthshala’s Your Morning on Thursday.
Button said he is also concerned that the city may have problems obtaining other supplies as well, and urged residents not to overstock or hoard goods.
“Get what you need and we hope we get here.”
Newfoundland and Labrador announced on Thursday Construction work has begun in southwestern Newfoundland to rebuild damaged roads, including four sections of the Trans-Canada Highway.
“The water level has receded and workers have gathered materials and heavy equipment to prepare for the installation of new culverts in the area,” the province said in a news release.
The province says repairs are being completed “on a priority basis” and is urging motorists to “avoid areas” to allow contractors to complete work as soon as possible.
one in series of tweets On Thursday, the province’s Department of Transport and Infrastructure shared photos of the work, as well as the new culverts that will be installed.
Construction has already been completed in some areas, such as Route 463 on the Port au Port peninsula.
Environment Canada said in a tweet on Thursday that the city had received 165.1 mm of rain in the past two days.
“This sets an all-time record for the highest rainfall in a two-day period for a southwest coast city,” the tweet read.
Button said once the assessment is complete and the damage can be assessed, officials will draw up a recovery and cleanup plan.
“Until that happens, we really won’t know, and we have no idea how we’re really going to get all of this into motion right now,” he said.
some ferry service restored
Meanwhile, preparations are also underway to temporarily restart the Argentina-North Sydney ferry.
one in Press release Released Thursday morning, Marine Atlantic said the resumption of ferry service would help provide the province with a sea link for the transport of both people and “critical supplies”.
“Following the request of the Provincial Government, Marine Atlantic has implemented its contingency plan for the temporary resumption of Argentine ferry service,” the notice reads.
The first sailing program between North Sydney, NS and Argentina, NL is scheduled to depart at 5 p.m. Atlantic time on Thursday, the company said.
Speaking to Granthshala’s Your Morning on Thursday, Jason Mew, director of incident management at Nova Scotia’s Office of Emergency Management, said crews were working to assess damage to “several dozen roads” and at least five bridges. are.
They will be reopened as soon as possible once they are safe, he said.
Mew said provincial officials are in touch with municipalities to determine if support is needed and where.
“Right now the provincial coordination center is active,” he explained. “That’s what we do at the provincial level, we coordinate the overall government response to these types of emergencies.”
According to Meo, “some people” have been taken out of their homes.
“At present they are being taken care of,” he said.
Maeve said their homes are being evaluated by employees and insurance companies to determine when it will be safe for them to return.
The province is also working with Environment Canada, Mayo said, as they wait for water levels to drop to ensure work can be done safely.
“We got a lot of rain, up to 280 mm in some places,” he said. “So public works and many different departments that are trying to do some assessment of this damage, it’s just to be able to get out there and do that inspection safely without endangering some of the employees doing that work.” Is.”
Meo said that his biggest concern right now is to reopen the roadways.
“A lot of the roads that have been washed away, we have another way of commuting,” he said. “But it’s always good to have the main roads open as soon as possible, just in case someone needs to get somewhere quickly.”
a County-wide state of emergency lifted in Victoria on Wednesday afternoon, but officials said residents should only travel when necessary.
Speaking at a news conference Thursday morning, Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston said the damage from the storm in the province is “significant.”
“It’s probably at least $7 million,” he said. “So we’ll trigger federal programming [and] We will do what we can to help people return to normalcy.”
Houston said there had been “some improvement” in cleanup efforts in the past.
“But there is a lot of work to be done to rebuild, repair, restore. Some of that is provincial responsibility, some is federal,” he said.
Houston said Canada’s Minister of National Defense Anita Anand reached out to him “immediately” regarding aid.
“We don’t think it’s necessary anymore,” he said. “But I’ll tell you the lines of communication are open [and] We will trigger federal programs and we will do whatever is necessary to support the Nova Scotians who need it.”
‘Standing by’ for help
In a tweet on Wednesday afternoon, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered his support to Atlantic Canada.
“I know it’s not easy going through this and I know you’re worried,” he wrote. “We’ve got your back – and we stand by to provide any help you and your community can get. Please, stay safe.”
With files from the Canadian Press