flood water | around the atlantic provinces

  flood water |  around the atlantic provinces

After British Columbia, the Atlantic provinces have received record rainfall in a short period of time. Roads cut in two, schools closed, homes flooded: Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia were not spared even when Mother Nature struck again.

Posted on November 25, 2021

Eric-Pierre Champagne

Eric-Pierre Champagne
Press

In Sydney, Cape Breton Island, Dean Keats’ phone has been ringing for 24 hours. The contractor, specializing in post-disaster restoration work, has already received about fifty calls from insurance companies to assess the damage caused to customers by the floods. “I worked until 3 o’clock last night and resumed today at 7 o’clock. It doesn’t stop. »

The man, who studied college in Quebec, says that he used to visit houses that had about half a meter of water in the basement. “The next few days and weeks will be very busy. ,

Cape Breton, in northeastern Nova Scotia, was one of the hardest-hit regions as torrential rains lashed the Atlantic provinces over the past two days. Sydney received 150 mm of rain, while the Ingonish River, about 100 km north of Sydney, received 274 mm of rain.

“It’s a slow-moving storm, so it releases a lot of rain,” explains environmental Canada meteorologist Bob Robichaud. But for Nova Scotia, that’s largely gone, now that it’s headed to Newfoundland. ,

Parts of Nova Scotia still received 278 mm of rain, breaking the 24-hour record of 143 mm that dates back to 1971.

“It is difficult to link this particular phenomenon to climate change,” admits Mr. Robichoud. But that is consistent with what we know about it. A warm climate increases the concentration of humidity with more rainfall. ,

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Recent events on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts show how Canada’s coastal regions are among the nation’s most vulnerable to global warming.

“One of the worst storms I’ve seen”

The storm particularly hurt eastern Nova Scotia in Antigonish, Victoria and Inverness counties. A state of emergency has been declared in Victoria County, where schools have been closed. On Wednesday, the Nova Scotia Office of Emergency Management also asked residents of these counties to check road conditions before driving. Several parts of the road were washed away by the landslide.

In Newfoundland, the Trans-Canada Highway was closed in several places: the road was damaged by flooding. At Port-aux-Basque, only one highway access lane was open. Ferry service connecting the island to Nova Scotia has also been temporarily suspended due to weather conditions. Transport of goods to Newfoundland is also disrupted.

Photo from the Newfoundland and Labrador RCMP Twitter account

A sunken section of the Trans-Canada Highway in Newfoundland

“It’s been at least five, six years since I’ve seen such a strong storm”, admitted Press Steve Vardy, who lives in Corner Brook. In Port-aux-Basque, 200 km to the south, rain literally overflowed the sewer network of the city of about 4,000 residents. “It’s one of the worst storms I’ve ever seen,” says Bruce Edwards.

The city received 147 mm of rain during the day, almost the same amount as in a month, compared to an average of 160 mm for the whole of November.

On Twitter, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered his support to the populations of the Atlantic provinces “which are facing extreme weather conditions”. “We are here for you, and we stand ready to provide any assistance we can to you and your community,” he wrote.

British Columbia crosses its fingers

Photo Jennifer Gauthier, Reuters

Part of the Trans-Canada Highway is partially submerged in Abbotsford, one of the areas hardest hit by rising waters in British Columbia in recent times.

Up to 70 mm of rain is expected in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia in the coming hours. The mayor of Abbotsford, the region’s hardest-hit city, said he was optimistic that repairs to the dam around Sumas Prairie would help prevent further rains. “We are as prepared as we can for what is to come. But Henri Braun also acknowledged that the situation was far from settled, citing contamination problems after the floods, which were particularly prevalent in cars, tractors and agricultural fertilizers. “Keep praying for us, we desperately need it. In Ottawa, the House of Commons announced it would hold an emergency debate on flooding in the province.

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