Cape Breton man faces flood disaster just months after Fort McMurray evacuation
'I've had my fill of it,' says James Bates
Months after being evacuated from Fort McMurray because of a massive wildfire there, a Nova Scotia man finds himself at the centre of another disaster due to flooding that hit Cape Breton Island on Thanksgiving.
James Bates's home in Port Morien overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and there's a culvert that runs underneath the road and right alongside his house. That culvert is now a huge sink hole following the massive rainfall that dropped up to 225 millimetres of rain.
"I was devastated. I truly was. There's a lot of damage, but there's a lot of people that are a lot worse off than we are," he said.
Bates was in Fort McMurray last week where he works in the safety department of a construction company, but came home immediately when his wife called to tell him things weren't looking good in Port Morien.
During the Fort McMurray wildfires this spring, Bates was evacuated from the city and ended up spending a month at home in Cape Breton. He said he missed a month of work, but there wasn't any damage to the rental home he and two others share in Alberta.
'A lot of extra worry this time'
This disaster is proving to be more nerve-wracking.
"There's just a lot of extra worry this time in not knowing what I had ahead of me, especially with me being in Fort McMurray when all this happened and trying to get a flight out and getting home and then seeing what I had in front of me," said Bates.
He said he notices a lot of similarities between how people in Fort McMurray and Cape Breton are dealing with the disasters.
His Port Morien home was built in 2006 and while he said there's been some sinkholes in the past, this was the straw that broke the camel's back.
Bates said repair work is being covered by the municipality and the Department of Transportation.
He is looking to move past the disasters.
"I've had my fill of it, for sure," he said.
With files from Colleen Jones