Cape Breton Regional Municipality sets up helpline for flood victims

Cape Breton Regional Municipality says it's not waiting for paperwork to get disaster assistance to those in need following devastating floods.

United Way handling all cash donations to get help to those in need as quickly as possible

A vehicle is submerged in a residential area of Sydney, N.S., on Tuesday. (Vaughan Merchant/Canadian Press)

Cape Breton Regional Municipality says it's not waiting for paperwork to get disaster assistance to those in need following devastating floods this week. 

"We can't wait," said Mayor Cecil Clarke.

Clarke said the quickest way to get help to those left vulnerable is to donate money to the United Way, which is working with the Salvation Army and the Rotary Club. The charity cannot accept furniture and clothing donations as it does not have room.

The organization is accepting donations the following ways:

  • Online through its website. Click "Donate Now" on the left-hand side and type "flood relief" in the comments.
  • In cash at their office at 245 Charlotte Street.
  • Call in your donation at 902-562-5226.

The municipality will match these donations, dollar for dollar, up to $25,000 to start.

'Millions' in damage 

"Everybody knows we're in the millions, the question is how many millions," said Clarke.

For those looking for help, the municipality has set up a phone line, staffed with people who will triage by greatest need.

Beginning at 8 a.m. Friday, people can call 902-562-HELP (4357) or email

The call centre will be open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Clarke has asked the province for $1.5 million in immediate assistance. Clarke said the municipality is not waiting and is acting as though that money is provided. 

"We are not going to leave someone go without assistance," he said. 

Accommodations for people who need it

In Cape Breton, Centre 200 will remain open as a comfort centre 24 hours a day, for those who need it. There will be beds, hot showers, a place to charge devices, and even coffee and tea available. 

The comfort centres, run by the Canadian Red Cross, in North Sydney and Glace Bay will remain open until 6 p.m. and 5 p.m. respectively. 

Anyone who needs a ride to Centre 200 can call their local fire department or the non-emergency number for Cape Regional Police at 902-563-5151.

Helping out flood-ravaged Brookland Elementary

It's not clear how long it will take to reopen Brookland Elementary in Sydney. 

In the meantime, donations of school supplies can be made at the education department of Cape Breton University and at Sydney Academy.

According to the department, students need things like Hilroy notebooks (80-page scribblers), pencils, crayons, loose-leaf paper, duotangs, construction paper, glue sticks and erasers.

Donations of money can be made to the financial department of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board office at 275 George St.