Nova Scotia

Post-tropical storm Erin drenches parts of Nova Scotia, washes out rural roads

The Annapolis Valley and the Fundy shore of Nova Scotia received the most rainfall with as much as 162 mm in some places.

Parrsboro recorded 162 mm of rain Thursday, exceeding 78.3 mm in July and 34.9 mm in August

Arlie Tupper's driveway culvert in Scots Bay, N.S., was washed out by the heavy rain overnight Thursday. Crews were on-site Friday morning to start the cleanup. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

In just a few hours on Thursday, parts of Nova Scotia saw more rain than the combined totals for nearly all of July and August up to that point.

The Annapolis Valley and the Fundy shore of Nova Scotia received the most rainfall.

Richard Lloyd, area manager for transportation in Kings County, said his team of 16 to 20 people is working hard to try to fix the 20 roads affected by washouts as quickly as possible. 

"Initially, for the first couple of days, we'll just stabilize the most serious situations and then it would take a period of several days to weeks to fix everything back to the way it was," he said.

Lloyd said it'll likely take weeks to fix all the damage across hundreds of square kilometres of roads affected by the rainfall. 

Most of the damage is in the more mountainous areas of the county, said Lloyd.

"It would be wise to be cautious on lower volume local roads, especially when you're in the higher elevations because we have washouts throughout the whole Valley area," he said.

The torrent on Thursday washed out part of Stewart Mountain Road in Blomidon between Route 358 and Pereau Road. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

The rain was the result of two systems that came together, says CBC meteorologist Tina Simpkin. One was post-tropical storm Erin, which continued to lose strength as it headed north into the cooler waters off Nova Scotia.

"Two systems brought us rain yesterday but the systems were not independent of one another. An approaching cold front acted as a mechanism to trigger rain across the region yesterday but Erin was feeding the front with moisture," said Simpkin.

"Eventually, Erin moved in overnight and brought some much needed rain, but some of us had a summer's worth of rain in a 24 hours which caused some flooding in the Annapolis Valley, through northern Nova Scotia and P.E.I."

The Annapolis Valley and Fundy coast of Nova Scotia received the most rain on Thursday. (Ryan Snoddon/CBC)

The Annapolis Valley and the Fundy Shore of Nova Scotia received the most rainfall.

According to Environment Canada, Parrsboro recorded 162 mm of rain on Thursday. That far exceeds the 78.3 mm that fell for all of July and the 34.9 mm that fell in the rest of August. 

The same was true for Greenwood, which recorded rainfall amounts of 127 mm Thursday. For the rest of July and August, Greenwood received just 102.2 mm of rain. 

Several driveways were totally washed out in the community of Scots Bay, just across the Minas Basin from Parrsboro.

Resident Arlie Tupper said he realized his driveway had been washed away at about 5:30 a.m., when he saw Department of Transportation vehicles with flashing lights on the road.  

A culvert that runs through a ditch under his driveway was overwhelmed by the torrential rain overnight. He said it isn't the first time the driveway has been washed away. 

The heavy rainfall overnight caused water damage to the fifth floor of the Dickson building, mostly affecting carpets and ceiling tiles, the NSHA said. (N.S. Health Authority)

In Kentville, 115 mm of rain fell Thursday. Kentville recorded 71 mm for all of July and the rest of August.

The torrent on Thursday washed out part of Stewart Mountain Road in Blomidon between Route 358 and Pereau Road.

Nova Scotia's Transportation Department tweeted that Prospect Road in the Parrsboro area is closed due to damage from heavy rains. There are also reports of road damage in Amherst and Oxford, but no roads have been closed. 

Arlie Tupper of Scots Bay, N.S., surveys what's left of his driveway after a culvert underneath was overwhelmed by Thursday night's rain from post-tropical storm Erin. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

At Halifax's Victoria General Hospital, there was water damage to two floors of the Dickson Building during the overnight rainfall. As a result, the dermatology clinic had to cancel 47 appointments Friday and 50 appointments on Tuesday. Patients of other affected clinics were moved elsewhere, said health authority spokesperson Carla Adams.

The water damage was mostly contained to ceiling tiles and carpet, and cleanup is underway. Any patients whose scheduled care was affected by the water damage were contacted directly, the health authority said.

At the peak of the rainfall, several surface stations reported rainfall rates in excess of 30 mm per hour which gave increased surface runoff and flooding, the national weather service said in a statement.

"As an example, the last round of rain brought 66 mm at Baccaro Point in less than two hours."

Along with the rain, the storm brought southerly winds gusting between 50 and 75 km/h.


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