Cape Bretoners are bracing for the possibility of storm damage as heavy rains move into the area overnight Monday.

Heavy rainfall is due in part because of tropical storm Leslie, which is expected to make landfall in Newfoundland on Tuesday morning, according to Environment Canada.

By 9 p.m. AT, Cape Breton had received about 60 millimetres of rain, according to the CBC News weather station in downtown Sydney.

The forecast is calling for a total of up to 125 millimetres of rain before it clears Tuesday, and gusts of about 80 kilometres per hour.

Public works crews were busy clearing debris from brooks and storm drains ahead of the storm.

George Muise, a local emergency planning officer for Emergency Measures Office Nova Scotia, says all that rain could cause trouble in communities, such as Margaree, Ingonish and Meat Cove.

"In Meat Cove, there's a high elevation there, so the water runs down off the mountains there and it can cause some issues with road washout like we had in the past there," Muise said.

"And Margaree, of course, the river system there can also swell up and overflow and cause some concern for some summer homes and those kind of things in the area there. So we just keeping an eye on them."

The good news is the rain is predicted to come in short bursts, over several hours, rather than all at once, he said.

He said the flash-flooding that happened in Meat Cove in 2010 was the result of 150 millimetres of rain that came down within a four-hour period.