Nova Scotia was pummelled with rain Monday as upwards of 75 millimetres fell in the central part of the province, washing out roads, stranding residents and causing dozens of families to leave their homes.

While the rain began letting up in the Truro area, it was just beginning in Cape Breton, CBC meteorologist Peter Coade said Monday evening.

Upwards of 125 millimetres is expected to fall in Cape Breton overnight.

While water levels were receding in central Nova Scotia later Monday evening, officials are watching high tide closely, which began around 9 p.m. AT.

In the Indian Brook First Nation, near Shubenacadie, 135 people were stranded as Monday's heavy rain washed out the two access roads to the community.

Forecasters with the Canadian Hurricane Centre said Monday's rainstorm was not due to tropical storm Leslie — the current storm is blocking Leslie's progression.

Leslie is expected to head for Newfoundland Tuesday morning.

Chris Fogarty said the weather would likely get worse overnight as the two systems converge, with Cape Breton getting the highest winds and heaviest rain.

Donna Munro, who lives in North River near Truro, was paddled to safety by a neighbour in a canoe as the area around her home flooded with about 1.5 metres of water.

Munro said she and her son stepped onto the doorstep and the doorstep started separating from the front of the house.

Her son got to safety and she was rescued a short time later by a neighbour with a canoe.

"The force of the water, when the tide came in, is what I think really elevated everything on top of all the rain we had too. It just all added to it like a snowball effect," she said.

"It was the force and the viciousness of it, I think, that just sped it along that much quicker."

Roads and bridges will be inspected by engineers from the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal as quickly as possible, he said.

Motorists should continue to use caution and watch for closed roads and water on roads, according to the provincial release.

More rain coming, forecasters warn

The Canadian Red Cross has set up two reception centres for area residents who have been displaced by the storm: at the Bible Hill Village Fire Hall at 69 Pictou Rd. and the Immanuel Baptist Church at 295 Young St.

However, the reception centres are not serving as shelters at the moment, according to Mona O'Brien, district community supervisor for the Canadian Red Cross in Truro.

The flooding in central Nova Scotia Monday posed some concern in the Salmon River area, according to the Emergency Management Office.

Water levels are on the decline in some areas, but the area isn't in the clear yet.

"The water has subsided quite a bit in the North River and the Salmon River," according to Bob Taylor, mayor of the municipality of Colchester.

"Having said that, there's still a lot of water from the uplands, also we don't know how much the tide is going to affect us."

People are being asked to stay away from flooding areas because of the high tide.