Flooded homeowners at 'wit's end' after weekend storm
Homeowners and businesses across Nova Scotia are busy mopping up and assessing the damage from the weekend's heavy rain, which caused severe flooding in some areas of the province.
Here are two of their stories:
Fourth flood in two years
Pam and Lloyd Green, of Westphal, were flooded out for the fourth time in two years this weekend when the brook next to their house turned into a raging river.
They said the culverts on the small access road near their property can't keep up with heavy rainfalls.
"It's tripling in size and it's coming up on our front lawn and into our basement apartment," said Pam Green.
The Greens are so frustrated they travelled to Halifax on Monday to visit the provincial ombudsman's office armed with paperwork and pictures illustrating their frustrations about the flooding on their property.
"We've been passing it through Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture, it's gone everywhere we can take it," said Green.
"We're just at wit's end, we have to get something done."
The Greens had two claims covered through insurance to the tune of $13,000 but their coverage won't cover floods anymore. They paid more than $5,000 for repairs last year and are looking at another hefty bill this time.
Worst combination of weather
Gordy MacDonald, who manages P.J.'s Variety and and Laundromat in Sydney, said his business has now flooded for the fifth time in the last couple of years. The weekend's rain brought nearly a metre of water to the basement.
"I had three sump pumps and I couldn't keep up with it," MacDonald said Monday.
"It was getting pretty close to the electricity panel."
MacDonald needed hip waders to find his furnace, which is now out of commission.
The Cape Breton Regional Muncipality said the worst possible combination of weather events overwhelmed the storm sewers in low lying areas.
"It was certainly a convergence of several incredible conditions. A huge amount of snow, a huge amount of rain, very rapid melting of that snow," said Christina Lamey, a spokeswoman with the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.
"It pretty much taxes everything to its limits."
Lamey said homeowners can avoid contributing to flood conditions by refraining from washing clothes, running the dishwasher or draining the bathtub. She said when it's possible, residents should also avoid pumping water from their basements into the storm drains.
"The flooding would be a combination of two different types of flooding. It would be surcharge from the storm drain system which is what happens when it reaches capacity and you see water bubbling up through manhole covers," Lamey said.
"The other thing would be overland flooding, which is caused by frozen ground not letting water absorb and it just moves to the lowest point."