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BARRIE – A devastating rainstorm that rocked Atlantic Canada left washed-out roads and flooding along the western coasts of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.

Efforts are underway in some areas to assess the damage and reopen vital transportation routes, although officials say cleaning up the storm could take weeks.

Here’s a closer look at what’s going on.


Residents and officials in Port Aux Basques, Newfoundland and Labrador, are worried about supply shortages after heavy rains swept away vital transportation routes.

The town’s mayor, Brian Button, told Your Morning on CTV that four different outbursts have been reported along the Trans-Canada Highway.

He said provincial authorities had not yet been able to visit the city to assess the damage because the weather “has not calmed down enough”.

“But from a conference call it looks like everyone will be on the pitch this morning,” he said.

Button said the biggest concern right now is access to health care.

He said Port Aux Basques relies heavily on Corner Brook – a larger city in the region – for many medical services.

However, with the roads washed away, Button said accessing those services could be difficult.

“But, officials assured us that things were taken care of for this purpose, and we shouldn’t have to worry about things there,” he said.

Button said he was also concerned the city would have problems obtaining other supplies and urged residents not to overstock or accumulate items.

“Get what you need and we’ll hopefully get away with it. “


In a tweet Thursday, Environment Canada said the city had received 165.1 millimeters of rain in the past two days.

“This sets an all-time record for most precipitation over a two-day period for the southwest coast city,” the tweet read.

Button said that once the assessments are complete and the damage assessed, officials will develop a recovery and cleanup plan.

“Until that is done, we really won’t know and have no idea how we’re actually going to put all of this in motion now,” he said.


Meanwhile, preparations are also underway to temporarily resume the Argentia – North Sydney ferry.

In a press release issued Thursday morning, Marine Atlantic said resuming ferry service would help provide the province with a maritime link to transport both people and “essential supplies.”

“Following a request from the provincial government, Marine Atlantic has implemented its emergency plan to temporarily resume ferry service from Argentia,” said the notice.

The company said the first sailing schedule between North Sydney, NS and Argentia, NL, is scheduled to depart at 5:00 p.m. Atlantic time on Thursday.


Meanwhile, heavy rains in Nova Scotia caused damage and washouts in Victoria, Antigonish and Inverness counties.

Speaking to Your Morning on CTV Thursday, Jason Mew, director of incident management at the Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office, said teams were working to assess the damage to “several dozen of roads ”and at least five bridges.

He said they will be reopened as soon as possible, once it is secure.

Mew said provincial officials are also in contact with municipalities to determine what support is needed and where.

“At the moment, the provincial coordination center is activated,” he explained. “This is what we do at the provincial level, we coordinate all government intervention for these types of emergencies.”

According to Mew, “a few people” were evacuated from their homes.

“Currently they are being taken care of,” he said.

Mew said their homes are being assessed by crews and insurance companies to determine when it is safe to return.

The province is also working with Environment Canada, Mew said, while waiting for water levels to drop so they can ensure the work is done in a safe manner.

“We received a lot of rain, in some places up to 280 millimeters,” he said. “So Public Works and a lot of different departments that are trying to assess some of this damage, it’s just so that they can go in there and do this inspection safely without endangering some of the employees who are doing this work. “

Mew said his biggest concern right now is reopening the roads.

“A lot of roads that have been washed away, we have another way of getting around,” he said. “But it’s always nice to open up the main roads as quickly as possible just in case someone needs to get somewhere quickly.”

Victoria’s county-wide state of emergency was lifted on Wednesday afternoon, but officials said residents should only travel when necessary.

A boil water advisory was also issued for Neil’s Harbor, and officials said emergency water service maintenance work would be carried out to repair storm damage to the system.


Speaking at a press conference Thursday morning, Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston said storm damage in the province was “significant”.

“It’s probably at least $ 7 million,” he said. “So we are going to trigger federal programming [and] we will do what we can to help people get back to normal.

Houston said there had been “some improvement” in cleanup efforts, even over the past day.

“But there is a lot of work to be done to rebuild, repair, restore. Part of it is provincial responsibility, part federal responsibility, ”he said.

Houston said Canada’s Defense Minister Anita Anand had contacted him “immediately” about the aid.

“We don’t think it’s necessary now,” he said. “But I’ll tell you the lines of communication are open [and] we will trigger federal programs and do whatever it takes to support Nova Scotians who need them.


In a tweet on Wednesday afternoon, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered his support for Atlantic Canada.

“I know it’s not easy going and I know you are worried,” he wrote. “We support you – and we are ready to provide any help you and your community may need. Please stay safe.


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