Cape Bretoners remember devastating Thanksgiving Day storm
Published Sunday, October 8, 2017 6:13PM ADT
Last Updated Sunday, October 8, 2017 7:00PM ADT
Nearly a year after a flash flood devastated parts of Cape Breton, the scars of the Thanksgiving Day storm still linger in one Sydney neighbourhood.
Anna Mae Muise says Thanksgiving is all about spending time with family and friends, but it also brings back horrifying memories from last year when her home of more than 30 years was destroyed.
“Those first few days I was just walking around saying I’m ruined, I’m ruined,” says Muise. “What can we possibly save out of this house?”
Memories from before the flood remain with Terry Drohan whose home is still standing, but is on the list to be torn down.
“It was a home that myself and family really loved and we all still miss that,” Drohan says. “We had a beautiful backyard, we had the home renovated where it was extremely comfortable for all of us, so there's a lot of memories of when my kids were younger and everything a family goes through.”
In total 17 homes were damaged beyond repair by more than 200 millimetres of rain on parts of Cape Breton on Oct. 10, 2016.
Muise, whose home was recently demolished, says the flood left her with a lot of uncertainty.
“Wednesday morning when I was on my way to my home, I found out I had no insurance coverage,” she says. “I thought I was covered and that's when my heart really hit the ground then I got into the house and saw how much damage was done. I didn't know if i was coming or going for several days.”
In the days following the storm, residents were faced with countless promises by federal and provincial politicians vowing to help.
“They fell back on the contents part,” says Drohan. “We ended up getting about 15 cents on the dollar for what we threw out, that's what hit those that are still struggling a bit.”
One year later, water is still an issue for the Sydney neighbourhood as it doesn't take much rainfall to flood homes with wash brook. The Cape Breton Regional Municipality says it’s still trying to figure out a solution.
“There is still congestion points and water overflow, so we have to address that with our planning and look at any infrastructure around that planning we can apply to the province and the federal government for,” says CBRM mayor, Cecil Clarke.
The financial impact of the flooding has reached more than $6 million for the city and the mayor says there’s still work to be done to improve infrastructure.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore.