'Our home is destroyed': Hundreds apply for disaster relief following storm
Published Tuesday, October 18, 2016 1:01PM ADT
The mayor of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality says hundreds of people have applied for disaster relief assistance following the torrential downpour that swamped the Sydney area last Monday.
The province is now offering up to $200,000 for homeowners, small businesses, farmers and non-profit organizations affected by flooding.
CBRM Mayor Cecil Clarke says more than 600 people have applied for relief, and that number continues to climb. He believes the region sustained more than $6 million in damage to municipal properties and buildings.
He also says, despite the massive amount of damage, little could have been done to prevent it.
“No matter what, this would have been catastrophic,” says Clarke. “The amount of intensity and flow, two weather systems coming together, the flash flooding, the highest level of the tide, all those factors came together.”
Many houses sustained significant damage in the storm and are no longer fit to live in. The Cape Breton Regional Municipality has stapled notices to more than 16 homes, telling people to stay out.
“Everything is covered with sewage, oil and water,” says homeowner Barb Donovan. “It’s destroyed. Our home is destroyed.”
While some homes have deemed uninhabitable, some residents are also donning masks in order to tolerate the strong smells and poor air quality.
“We really shouldn’t be in there,” says Donovan. “All these houses have orders on them that they’re uninhabitable, but our personal things are still upstairs and we are going to get them out.”
Marcella Angelo is among those picking up the pieces following the storm. She has lived in her Glace Bay, N.S. home for more than 57 years, but now it’s in shambles.
“I was scared to stay upstairs, the house was shaking that bad,” says Angelo, who celebrated her 80th birthday the same day as the storm.
“I came down here and was reading a book with a flashlight because I had no power. All of a sudden I heard this racket and I went up and thought the window had blown in and crashed the toilet.”
But it wasn’t just the window. The entire side of Angelo’s home and roof had come crashing down.
“I’ve been here in a lot of high wind, but nothing like that,” she says. “This house moved before, but nothing like that.”
Between the loss of inventory and damage to his store, at least one Glace Bay business owner is facing a loss of $500,000.
“I’m an independent owner with my house on the line because that was collateral for the business, so it’s a serious matter,” says Terry Collins.
Officials from CBRM and EMO, as well as insurance agencies, will be at Centre 200 between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tuesday to answer any questions residents may have.
Details on assistance and forms are available at novascotia.ca/flooding.
Applications are also available at several locations across the province, including Access Nova Scotia Centres, MLA offices, and town halls.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kyle Moore