Northern N.S. copes with closed roads, flooding

Northern Nova Scotia deals with damage as a result of a persistent and powerful storm that battered the region with rain, high winds and storm surges.

Northern Nova Scotia continued to deal with flooding and road closures Wednesday from a persistent and powerful storm that battered the region with rain, high winds and storm surges.

Storm surges are expected to continue through Thursday, with rain still at times heavy over Cape Breton, and storm surge warnings are still in place for most of Cape Breton and for the counties that face the Northumberland Strait.


Cape Breton Regional Police said many roads are either covered in water or are strewn with debris.

The storm took out a bridge in Little Bras d'Or, cutting off about a dozen homes for several hours. Heavy equipment was brought in to reopen an old road, so emergency vehicles could get in and out of the community.

Dominion Beach Provincial Park, which just reopened last summer after $100,000 in repairs from an earlier storm, was hit again and had its beach and boardwalk destroyed. 

"I've walked this beach for 30 years with my dogs," Anne Marie O'Neil said. "And I've never ever seen it this bad, ever, and I'm scared we're going to lose our beach for good."

Hundreds of people swim there every day in the summertime.

Kathy Duff, who was visiting home for the holidays, said she loved walking on the boardwalk. "I love the ocean, but not when it's destructive like this," she said.

In all, at least 10 roads in Cape Breton and Victoria counties were flooded.

South Head Road, near Homeville, is now reopened, however, after the dirt road approaching a bridge was washed out Tuesday night, isolating residents.

"Once the high tide went down it looked pretty good," said Yvonne Kennedy, who lives near the bridge. "But we'll wait and see when the tide gets high again what happens because the marshes are flooded. You used to be able to see the grass and the drier areas, but now it looks like one big lake."

Bridges at Derby Point, near Grand Narrows, and at Leitches Creek were impassable.

The Seal Island Bridge is now open to all traffic. High-sided vehicles and motorcycles had been warned off the bridge Tuesday because of high winds.

Power restored

Thousands of Nova Scotians were without power at the peak of the winds Tuesday, but Nova Scotia Power was reporting no outages Wednesday evening.

Laura Lee Langille, who lives on the Fraser Road in Brule, near the Pictou-Colchester County line, said there were some tense moments for her family Tuesday night at high tide around 10 p.m.

Her house is located on a very narrow strip of land just before Brule Point on the Northumberland Strait.

Langille said she was in awe of the wind and the water last night.

"It was pounding in," said Langille. "The strange thing was all the water coming from in behind our house too. The water was coming in over the road somewhere, obviously, and over the fields and coming back towards the ocean again."

Langille said previous storm surges have caused problems for home and cottage owners in the area.