Nova Scotia

Storm surge batters coast from Shelburne County to Halifax

Parts of Nova Scotia's Atlantic Coast are being battered by high waves with four counties under a storm surge warning.

Several roads along coast closed, including road to Lawrencetown Beach

The Road to Lawrencetown Beach was affected in the same area that was impacted during a powerful January storm. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

Parts of Nova Scotia's Atlantic Coast are being battered by high waves with four counties under a storm surge warning.

Environment Canada says high water levels and large waves were expected today and tonight on the coasts of Shelburne, Queens, and Lunenburg counties, as well as Halifax's metro area and the western half of Halifax County. 

"During high tide tonight, these waves and surf will combine with higher than normal water levels to cause some coastal flooding in vulnerable areas," the weather agency said.

Shelburne and Queens counties are also under wind warnings, with gusts of up to 100 km/h along the coast.

Yarmouth County is under a special weather statement, but not a warning, with higher-than-normal water levels expected tonight.

The region's mayor says Liverpool floods like it did Saturday about four times a year. (Kenny Veinot/Facebook)

In Liverpool, photos showed a downtown parking lot area inundated with water. At least one car was surrounded by the surge.

David Dagley, mayor of the Region of Queens Municipality, which includes Liverpool, said in a mid-afternoon interview that the water had already receded with the tides. He said such flooding happens about four times a year now, compared to once or twice a year in previous decades.

"It's occurring more than it should," he said.

Dagley said the flooding is a "major inconvenience" to businesses and residents, and wants to make it as manageable as possible at the lowest possible cost.  He said he'll look to the federal and provincial governments to help.

"It's on the minds of council, that's for sure."

'Waves coming right across the roadway'

The road to Lawrencetown Beach along the Eastern Shore outside of Dartmouth was closed Saturday morning as large waves littered the pavement with rocks. 

RCMP and the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal have closed the section of Highway 207 near Lawrencetown Beach Provincial Park.

People were taking photos of the waves on Saturday morning. (Steve Berry/CBC)

Motorists were being advised to take alternative routes. 

"There's waves coming right across the roadway throwing fair size rocks," said Const. Sean Manson with Halifax District RCMP.

Will probably happen again, official says

Highway 207 is closed in the same spot where armour rock was washed away during a powerful January storm, said Randy Imlay, supervisor with the transportation department. 

"Until we get that armour rock replaced there you're probably going to have this happen a few times with a good heavy wind," he said.

The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal closed the road near Lawrencetown Beach Provincial Park on Saturday. It reopened midday Sunday. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

He said a plow is going back and forth trying to clear the road, but until the tide goes down there's not much crews can do.

"When I came down here earlier there was people parked on the wrong side of the road, pointed the wrong way and kind of just barely off the road and still in the driving lane...

"It's like, 'Guys, you got to get out of here,"' he said. 

'Every year we're going to be patching up these roads'

Robert Macdonald, who was taking photos near the washed-out road, said he came from North Sydney to shoot the surf and was amazed to see the rocks washing ashore. He said he didn't think there was much officials could do other than temporarily close the road.

"What are you going to do?" he said. "Just have a look. You can't get through that. It's just taking care of people."

Large waves washed rocks and debris onto the road near Queensland Beach, near Hubbards, N.S. (Steve Lawrence/CBC)

Karen Stadnyk, who was birdwatching in the area with her husband, Andy, said she expects climate change will mean more frequent weather events causing similar damage.

"Every year we're going to be patching up these roads," she said, adding that a longer-term redevelopment could be needed, including looking at the viability of the road itself. 

Other road closures

Elsewhere, Transportation Department crews closed one lane of Trunk 3 near Queensland Beach.

The nearby Conrads Road remains closed after the storm surge in January. 

In Queens County, which along with Shelburne County is under a wind warning, the Transportation Department closed Hayes Road in Brooklyn. 

With files from Steve Berry and Emma Smith