Nova Scotia

Sydney flood victims relive nightmare as water rises again after heavy rain

Jean Doue's house on Union Street was surrounded by water Wednesday. It flooded during the Thanksgiving storm of last year and she's afraid it's going to happen again.

'This time, we're calling for help before it happens and there's no help,' says one resident

Parts of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality are underwater this week after days of heavy rain. (Nic Meloney/CBC)

Jean Doue of Sydney, N.S., is reliving a nightmare.

Her 100-year-old house on Union Street was surrounded by water Wednesday. It flooded during the Thanksgiving storm of last year and with more rain in the forecast Wednesday night, she's afraid it's going to happen again.

"We had to clean it up ourselves the last time. There was no pumps to help us, there was no trucks to help us. If we didn't get the house cleaned out and dried out — with no power for three days — we would have lost our home," she said Wednesday.

"And now the water's up again."

'Where's the help?'

Doue said there is already water coming into her basement and she is frightened and angry.

"This time, we're calling for help before it happens and there's no help," she said, adding that she's placed calls to the city as well as the offices of the mayor, her MLA and the premier. 

Doue said she's even sent an email to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

"Where's the help?" she asked.

"There's no boots on the ground here ... They can't even provide a sandbag or anyone to put it around my house? What are they waiting for?"

Some homeowners in Sydney are worried there will be a repeat of the Thanksgiving flood last year that caused widespread damage. (Nic Meloney/CBC)

Mayor responds

Mayor Cecil Clarke said the municipality is on high alert. Water is flowing quicker due to remedial work they did after the last flood. 

"At this point, we continue to monitor," he said. "Public Works is out, there's been no closure of streets or other larger impacts at this time."

A backed-up manhole located next to the brook that flows by Doue's house is adding to the flooding problem.

It was supposed to be fixed but that hasn't happened, she said.

"I was told the engineer's office would come out. This rain was coming — we knew it was coming," she said. 

"I am afraid I am going to lose my home. I don't know if I can do this again. We need to fix the drainage in this city."

Doue has children and a husband undergoing cancer treatment. Walter Doue said he was considering postponing his cancer treatment Wednesday. 

Sydney homeowner Walter Doue works to keep water levels from rising in his basement. (Nic Meloney/CBC)

"I don't want to lose my furnace, I don't want to lose my hot water tank. I don't want to lose what we can save," he said.

"And so my treatment for cancer, I might have to postpone until next week."

Bought house in flood zone anyway

Michael Coombs, a new homeowner in the neighbourhood, was working Wednesday to prevent water from filling up his basement by digging trenches.

"It makes me feel a little bit worried but it's to be expected," he said, adding that he knew the house was in a flood zone when he bought it.

A flooded playground in Sydney. Residents in the south side are worried about rising water as a result of days of heavy rain. (Nic Meloney/CBC)

"The basement isn't completely flooded so I'm not too concerned about it right now."