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Memories Lost: N.S. flood destroys homes and memories


It’s a day of cleaning up and clearing out for the Lushmans.

More than a metre of water filled their basement during the height of the weekend storm.

“About 75 per cent of what we had down there is gone,” says Ashley Lushman.

City officials originally called it a one-in-100-year storm, but a closer looked showed the devastating weather system didn’t fit any model they were using.

“We do modelling for the average one-in-10-year storm. We plan for one-in-100-year for how we respond, but this one was a one-in-1,000-year event. As we ran the modelling, we had to flip to a one-in-1,000, because of the water levels and the issues that we’ve seen,” says Erica Fleck, the city’s emergency management director.

One-hundred-fifty people are out of their homes as a result.

Infrastructure also took a hit. 

“Our focus is on cleaning the main arterials, major transportation corridors and safety routes. We are working very closely with our partners at the province and Halifax Water,” says the acting executive director of Public Works, Lucas Pitts.

Pitts says as the water continues to recede, more problems are showing up. Repairs will take time.

“There is widespread damage,” said Pitts. “Our main focus is on the main transportation corridors and getting them open. So Hammonds Plains Road is one we’re working on today."

As the cleanup from this event continues, HRM Mayor Mike Savage says steps need to be taken to limit the destruction of future weather events.

“We are on the ocean,” Savage adds. “What can we do? We can make sure we’re building in the right places, that we’re building with the right materials, that we have the right kind of buffers.”

The Lushmans aren’t sure anything could have stopped the torrent of water that destroyed hundreds of records, cd’s and electronics. Some of it is replaceable, some isn’t.

“We had a hope chest down there and it had stuff from high school, my yearbooks, pictures, notes from friends and that’s all gone too,” Lushman says.

To help with cleanups, Team Rubicon says they will return to the city just weeks after helping with wildfire recovery.

The state of emergency declared Saturday has since been lifted.

The province’s Disaster Financial Relief Program is now open for applications.

The program covers up to $200,000 in uninsurable losses per household, small business and not-for-profit organizations.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page. Top Stories

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