N.S. floods prompt state of emergency

Three areas of southwest Nova Scotia remain under a local state of emergency, and travel is difficult in that province and New Brunswick after heavy rains over the weekend caused flooding, evacuations and road and bridge closures.

Many roads in New Brunswick also closed

A person in Deerfield, N.S., observes the flood waters of the Annis River around the house on Sunday. ((Craig Paisley/CBC))

Three areas of southwest Nova Scotia remain under a local state of emergency, and travel is difficult in that province and New Brunswick after heavy rains over the weekend caused flooding, evacuations and road and bridge closures.

Officials with Nova Scotia's Emergency Management Office said more than 115 families have left their homes because of rising floodwaters.

States of emergency have been declared in the municipalities of Barrington, Yarmouth and Argyle.

EMO spokesman Ron Crocker said door-to-door notification is taking place in Barrington, where the Bloody Creek Bridge has been closed in Upper Clyde River.

In Yarmouth County, as many as 30 families living near a Nova Scotia Power dam on Tusket River are evacuating voluntarily. Crocker said an additional 50 families in Quinan — where the bridge collapsed and the road has flooded — are now leaving to join neighbours who left last night.

"Many of them are now moving out by boat," Crocker told CBC News on Monday afternoon. "Aluminum boats that are taking them out small numbers at a time."

Crocker said there is further concern about the dam in Lake Vaughan because the water level there is expected to peak at around 1 a.m.

"There are efforts by both the municipalities of Argyle and Yarmouth to get about 30 families out," said Crocker.

There is no word of people in the northern part of Nova Scotia needing to leave their homes.

Road and bridge closures

There are numerous road and bridge closures in Lunenburg, Queens, Shelburne and Yarmouth counties:

  • Lunenburg County — Trunk 10, through Pinehurst area from Feeners Corner Road to Goose Chase Road.
  • Queens County — Rosette Road closed between Harlow and Moose Pit.
  • Queens County — Old Westfield Road, intermittently closed between Trunk 8 in Harmony to Westfield at MacGowan Lake.
  • Shelburne County — Back Hill Road.
  • Shelburne County — Upper Clyde Road West.
  • Shelburne County — Upper Clyde Road East (Local traffic only at the Hemlock Branch Bridge).
  • Yarmouth County — Dayton Road.
  • Yarmouth County — MacCormack Road.
  • Yarmouth County — Mood Road.
  • Yarmouth County — Perry Road.
  • Yarmouth County — Belleville Road.

Many roads in New Brunswick also remain closed, particularly in the Elgin area and southeast of Sussex.

"I didn't sleep very good. Slept with one eye open," said John Allen, whose home in Deerfield, N.S., is surrounded by water.

"I'm concerned but what the hell can you do about it? There's nothing you can do about it, just take it as it comes, I guess, and it's going to go away someday."

Resident Bill Muise said the water in his basement is at least one metre deep.

Torrential rains over the weekend closed several bridges in Nova Scotia. ((CBC))
"I figure my first floor will be under water. It's pretty bad. There's a lot of current. It's frustrating. There's nothing you can do."

Leland Anthony, the warden of the Municipality of the District of Yarmouth, said although the rain has eased slightly, water levels are still rising and aren't expected to peak until Tuesday afternoon.

"What we have right now is a major possibility of a major flood issue here … into Lake Vaughan. The amount of flow of water has increased tremendously," said Anthony.

"What was here two days ago, you could have walked on the bottom of the river. Now you'd probably be looking at 20 to 30 feet of water."

Heaviest rain in New Brunswick

Ramona Jennex, the Nova Scotia minister responsible for emergency measures, said officials with the Nova Scotia EMO are monitoring flood-prone areas and Nova Scotia Power has crews monitoring every dam.

"It looks like we have a 12-hour break in the weather, which is really good," Jennex said. "It will give a chance for the rivers to stabilize a little bit, some of the water to hopefully sink in. There is a lot of water down. The province is soggy, to say the least."

According to Environment Canada, the heaviest rains fell in New Brunswick, with 291 millimetres recorded in Mechanic Settlement, southwest of Moncton.

"What has happened is we have this trough of low pressure stalled over the Maritime provinces," said Peter Coade, a CBC News meteorologist.

Coade said it looks as if the system will move south over the Gulf of Maine, then off to sea. But Coade said more rain could be expected Monday and Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Red Cross officials were on standby to help with the flooding, said Bill Lawlor, the organization's director of disaster management for the Atlantic Region.