Helicopter delivers supplies to residents stranded in rural Cape Breton
Supplies were loaded onto a helicopter Saturday, bound for people stranded in rural areas of Cape Breton after a record-setting storm battered the region earlier this week.
The chopper landed in Tarbot Vale, N.S. where residents had been using a rope to send basic necessities across the raging river where a bridge once stood.
“They were elated. They wanted to do hugs and kisses and they were very excited about it,” said emergency management coordinator Lyle Donovan.
In Ingonish, N.S., Debbie Whitty said she is relieved people can now come and go once again, after her road was reduced to rubble by floodwaters.
“It's just unreal to have the freedom that you can just get back out on the road again,” said Whitty.
On the other side of the Cabot Trail, in Middle River, there's still a gaping hole along the main highway where a bridge once stood.
Residents are able to take a short detour, however it’s a different story for big trucks taking supplies to communities up north.
“Big tractor trailers, it can't handle. So the tractor trailers that typically deliver to those areas in Inverness County will have to bypass and go through Whycocomagh,” said Donovan.
The supply helicopter also landed on Orgeon Road, where another washed out bridge has left six residents stranded.
“People expect storms to come, but they don't expect it to be on the terms that they're stranded for weeks on end,” said Donovan.
“It's not as big a repair, but still, they're blocked off from getting out and getting, you know, any services,” said Barbara Longva, a councillor in Victoria County.
Longva said crews are focusing on repairing roads, but it will be weeks and possibly months before bridges are replaced.