Concern grows in Cape Breton as region braces for more potential rain

In an area already hit by record rainfalls last week, it appears more is on the way.

Communities along the Cabot Trail are just starting to pick up the pieces from the damage done by flooding and road washouts. The hope is another downpour forecast for Monday won't cause any more destruction, or undo temporary repairs that have already been made.

"I am sensing a lot of concern about the rain coming tomorrow”, said Ingonish-area councillor Larry Dauphinee. "Some reports are saying up as high as 70 mm, which usually wouldn't be anything to be concerned about.”

Dauphinee says his biggest concern is shoulder washouts along the highway. 

"The shoulders down there are like three to four feet deep – trenches”, he said. “More rain coming, where's it going to go? So my concern is that it's going to undermine the pavement there."

After touring the hardest hit areas by helicopter on Saturday, Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston is promising recovery support from all three levels of government.

"The damage was clear. The physical damage to homes and to roads”, Houston said. "[What’s next is] making sure that we're there to help them get things rebuilt. Give them some comfort that the province will be there, the municipality, the federal government - all three - to support them financially."

With how much widespread damage has been done, some are wondering if that will be enough.

"The concern is definitely there”, Dauphinee said. “We're hearing stories there may be some financial assistance, especially for basements that have been flooded and some of the homes that have been damaged. But again, it's the time frame. There's no definite answer."

In the meantime, community members have been helping one another in the air and on the ground. An EMO-led helicopter was back in some stranded areas Sunday with more supplies, and they weren’t the only ones lending a hand.

"Breton Air and Destination Cape Smokey helping out with helicopters”, said Dauphinee.  “[Local fishermen] with their boat, taking teachers down by boat this morning to Neil's Harbour."

Dauphinee said with a long recovery from the storm just beginning, residents are simply hoping for the best from Monday’s weather.