Nova Scotia

2 homes in peril after land shifts in Annapolis County following heavy rain

Heavy rains over the weekend in Victoria Beach, N.S., led the land to shift near a home at the side of an embankment. Now two homes in the area are evacuated.

14 homes in the area are without power until at least Wednesday

The land near a home on Granville Road started to slide away over the weekend. (Submitted by John Ferguson)

A land shift following heavy rains over the weekend near Victoria Beach, N.S., has forced the Municipality of the County of Annapolis to evacuate two homes.

The heavy rain caused land near a small bungalow on Granville Road to shift dangerously toward a steep embankment.

John Ferguson, the municipality's CAO, said the homeowner has hired an engineer to assess the damage and potential risk. His office was issuing an evacuation order to the homeowner on Tuesday.

"The idea is to recommend they vacate the property for their own safety," Ferguson said.

The trouble began on Friday when more than 80 millimetres of rain fell in the area of Victoria Beach.

A home at foot of the hill on Victoria Beach Road is at risk. (Submitted by John Ferguson)

Fire crews from nearby Annapolis Royal were called in that night to put out a fire after some trees fell on power lines.

Nova Scotia Power attended as well and crews cut the power to 14 homes. The power is not expected to be restored until Wednesday.

Annapolis Royal Fire Chief Andrew Cranton said he was called to the area three times over the weekend.

The final call came on Saturday after a homeowner called 911 to say land about one metre from their home had shifted and appeared headed toward a steep embankment. So far the ground has held, but officials are worried.

"I got a feeling we'll be there again," Cranton says.

A yellow bungalow sits dangerously close to an embankment. (Submitted by John Ferguson)

"The trees started losing their rooting and started sliding down the hill and taking everything with it," he said. "It's quite a mess."

Regardless of what happens to the home, Cranton said he won't let his crews near it.

"By no means unless somebody tells me that ground is safe. None of my guys are going near that piece of property."

The town is also worried about a second home at the foot of the hill.

Trees are leaning dangerously close to the home on Victoria Beach Road. The homeowners there only use it during the summer months and Ferguson said they have no plans to go near it until they're given the all clear.

In the meantime, the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal has set up barricades to protect the roads. The barricades are holding back debris and allowing fishermen to get to their bait shacks along the water.

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Corrections

  • A previous version of this story stated the homes are located in Digby, N.S. In fact, the homes are located in Victoria Beach, N.S.
    Jun 25, 2019 10:45 PM AT

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