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4 people remain missing in N.S. days after devastating floods

The latest:

Four people — including two children and a youth — are still missing after devastating flooding over the weekend in Nova Scotia, as the federal government confirmed it would provide financial assistance to the province.

The RCMP said the pickup truck that two children were travelling in when it became submerged in floodwaters in the West Hants area of the province was found Sunday, but the children were not inside.

The Mounties said its underwater recovery team conducted a search of a flooded field and “located an unoccupied pickup truck,” which is believed to be the same one the two children were last seen in.

A separate search is focused on an adult man and a youth whose vehicle also became submerged in the same area.

Police said Monday the searches were ongoing, and that an update would be provided later in the day.

To protect the privacy of families, RCMP said it will not yet be releasing the identities of those missing or any other personal information.

The search is being led by the RCMP. On Sunday, it included an aircraft from the Department of Natural Resources and about 40 ground search and rescue members from West Hants, Colchester County, and the Valley.

Rainfall amounts as of 10 a.m. Sunday morning.
Some parts of Nova Scotia received more than 200 millimetres of rainfall as of 10 a.m. AT Sunday. (Ryan Snoddon/CBC)

Visibly shaken and fighting back tears, West Hants Regional Municipality Mayor Abraham Zebian said Sunday that members of his tight-knit community were trying to stay optimistic. 

“It’s sombre but spirits are still high,” he said.

Much of the province has been dealing with severe flooding and impassable roads after torrential downpours swept in overnight Friday and into Saturday.

A provincewide state of emergency was declared late Saturday, with West Hants, East Hants, the Halifax Regional Municipality, Lunenburg County and Queens County considered among the hardest hit areas.

Late Sunday, federal Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair said he approved a request for federal assistance from the province.

At a news conference on Sunday, Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston said 25 bridges have been affected by the flooding, with six completely destroyed. He said between 500 and 600 people in the province remained displaced.

According to Houston, the province submitted a request for disaster financial assistance to the federal government on Saturday night to help cover uninsurable costs.

“There’s a lot of anxiety over the damage that has been sustained to people’s property and to their homes,” Houston said.

“We’re listening, we’re watching in an effort to see what people need and if we can do something.”

Canada Post said Monday that collection and delivery of mail is on hold in the province until the company can better evaluate safe areas for delivery. Post offices are closed for the day.

Mark Peachey, Nova Scotia’s chief engineer, said more than 50 roads have been washed out, mainly in the central and western regions of the province. 

He said 400 people were isolated because of bridge damage.

The RCMP has said the best source for the latest road conditions is 511, both by phone and online. 

Halifax-area residents growing ‘weary’

Halifax Regional Municipality Mayor Mike Savage noted the floods come less than two months after a wildfire ripped through 151 homes in the Hammonds Plains and Upper Tantallon areas, where many people are dealing with flooded basements.

“This continuing escalation of all the different weather events that we’ve had I think has certainly made people very weary,” Savage told CBC’s Information Morning Nova Scotia.

“It’s really distressing…. My heart breaks for all those people and particularly for the families of the folks we’re looking for.”

Savage said it’s too early to have a full picture of the damaged infrastructure in the municipality, but more than 300 work orders have come in, including for damage to roads, culverts and parks.

A map of roads blocked due to flooding in the Halifax region is available here. 

4 people remain missing in n s days after devastating floods 1

Nova Scotia starts cleanup after devastating floods

12 hours ago

Duration 3:51

As floodwaters begin to recede in parts of Nova Scotia, the devastation from a weekend of massive downpours is becoming clear. It’s the latest disaster to strike the province after a year of fire and floods.

Sandy Lake Beach in Bedford is closed to swimming and recreational activities until further notice due to an overflowing Halifax Water wastewater pumping station adjacent to the lake.

Halifax Water said flooding caused the pump and its electrical systems to fail at the station on Farmer’s Dairy Lane, and wastewater is flooding directly into the lake.

The utility was asking people in that area to reduce the amount of water they are flushing and pouring into their drains to help minimize the amount of wastewater released into the environment.

Halifax Water’s Jeff Myrick said Sunday that crews have been working non-stop since Friday evening to manage the flow of water around the municipality. All dams remained structurally sound and were being monitored, he said.

During Sunday’s news conference, Erica Fleck, the director of Emergency Management and Community Safety, said about 200 HRM residents were still displaced.

An exposed culvert at the end of a damaged driveway.
A culvert at the end of a driveway is exposed after heavy rainfall swept through the Hammonds Plains area late Friday. (Paul Poirier/CBC)

In Bedford, where floodwaters had submerged much of the Bedford Place Mall parking lot, city officials were urging residents, including those who have tried to return and access vehicles left behind, to stay away as the area remained unsafe.

Those affected by flooding in the municipality can go to the comfort centre set up at the East Dartmouth Community Centre at 50 Caledonia Rd., which will remain open until further notice, the city said.

By Monday morning, only about 230 Nova Scotia Power customers were without electricity, down from a peak of around 80,000 at the height of the storm. 

4 people remain missing in n s days after devastating floods 3

Halifax mayor urges patience in aftermath of massive floods

1 day ago

Duration 3:00

Halifax Regional Municipality Mayor Mike Savage says it will take days for the floodwaters to recede in some hard-hit areas as crews start to assess the damage from torrential rain that inundated Nova Scotia over the weekend.

Across the province, the floods resulted in a rash of closures, cancellations and postponements. 

Fleck said most Halifax Regional Municipality offices will be closed Monday in an attempt to limit traffic on roads, as crews assess and repair damage around the municipality.

Sunday’s Halifax Pride parade was postponed by organizers and will be rescheduled at a later date.


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