Future clouded for Sydney community devastated by Thanksgiving flooding
Published Thursday, September 21, 2017 8:39PM ADT
Nearly one year after the Thanksgiving Day flood that devastated a Sydney neighbourhood, the future of the community continues to remain uncertain.
Not much has changed in the flood-zone area. Some homes are gone, but many remain boarded up and vacant.
Residents are wondering what's next.
“The insurance company told us if we ever to attempt to build on this lot again we would never receive insurance coverage, so literally the land is sitting there,” says resident Tom Penny.
But Penny is still paying taxes on the land. He says the province has bought other nearby properties, but because his mother had full insurance coverage, their property wasn't eligible.
“People are worried. People are scared. People are interested in what their future is in this area and people are telling me they've been left in the dark for a year now, and they're not very happy about it,” says Cape Breton Regional Municipality councillor Ray Paurch.
Paurch says property assessments plummeted for residents still living in their house.
“I really think if the province has bought the other sections of land here, (they) should also buy this lot as well,” says Paruch.
Paurch feels a decision on what needs to be done with the Sydney neighbourhood should be made now. But the local MLA says the province will not be entering that discussion until cleanup is completed at the end of October.
“Do these people not understand that it is possible to walk and chew gum at the same time?” asks Paurch. “We've got to put our collective forces together, sit at the table with the people and the departments that can address this problem expeditiously as possible.”
There was discussion of making the area a no development zone shortly after the flood, but that hasn't happened and it's unclear if that decision will ever be made.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore.