'Not an easy solution': Sydney residents continue to worry about flooding

Monday’s heavy rain had some people in Sydney, Nova Scotia wondering what’s being done to protect their community from flooding again.

While the damage was minimal, some in low-lying neighbourhoods say they’ve been looking for answers since the infamous Thanksgiving flood in October 2016.

“With the taxes that we pay, it’s just absolutely ridiculous,” says resident Chelsea O’Neil.

While Monday’s rain wasn’t close to some of the bigger storms of recent years some low-lying areas of Sydney still saw flooding.

O’Neil captured a video of the flooding while watching the water rise around her Brookland Street home.

O’Neil says she spent the day alone with her two young children, just hoping the basement wouldn’t flood like it has a number of times since she moved to the neighbourhood in 2016.

“We were told it was a once in 100-year flood. It will never happen again,” says O’Neil of the 2016 Thanksgiving flood.

But she says two years ago her basement flooded again, and ruined her furnace.

She says her home’s foundation is now receding on one side, after years of rising waters, and wants to know what can be done to fix the flooding for good.

“What are you future plans?” asks O’Neil. “What do you have in the works right now to fix this flooding issue? They wouldn’t have an answer.”

Sydney area councillor Eldon MacDonald says CBRM public works is working on a solution, but that the area that was hardest hit in Thanksgiving 2016 has to be handled first.

“It’s not an easy solution,” says MacDonald. “Those areas will get addressed eventually, but the ‘worst, first’ case scenario is how we look at those things.”

MacDonald adds that underground infrastructure needs to be replaced throughout the municipality, which will take years.

“Once those pieces of infrastructure are separated out, it will lessen that stress. But again, it’s many, many decades of work,” says MacDonald.

O’Neil says the CBRM has done work on the brook next to her home which has cut down on recent flooding, but she wants a long-term solution.

“Obviously the work they’ve done so far is doing something, but it’s still an issue,” says O’Neil.

She says in the meantime, her and her fiancé will do what they can to protect their property and family from future flooding.