Residents of Big Island, N.S., stranded after storm washes out causeway
BIG ISLAND, N.S. -- 20 families living on Big Island in Pictou County, N.S., have been stranded since Thursday after a storm washed out a large section of the causeway connecting them to the mainland.
The storm brought high winds and crashing waves over the wooden breakwaters that protect the causeway, along with loads of sand.
Altogether, more than 100 meters of road was ruined, with large sections of pavement torn up.
“When we get that northeast wind, and you get the right tides and the right winds, nothing is going to stop Mother Nature,” said local, Linda Armsworthy.
She says for the first few days, the road was a complete washout, only recently has rock and sand begun to appear.
For now, transportation crews have been able to make a partial link that trucks and off-road vehicles can pass.
Following the storm, the power was also out for those residents, leaving them in the dark for two days.
“Yesterday afternoon they brought line crews over on ATV’s and climbed the poles manually to fix the power lines,” said another resident, Robert Lange.
But Big Island residents say they are used to feeling stranded like this, with similar washouts having taken place in 2004 and again in 2010, they say they aren’t worried – and they’re not thinking about moving.
“If we need to get across for an emergency, somebody with a four wheel drive or a four wheeler will come and pick us up and we’ll get somebody to meet us on the other side,” said Lange, “We have power now, and we have heat, lots of food, so we’re self-sufficient.”
An official with the province’s transportation department says the road needs to be infilled and rebuilt. They hope it can accommodate motorists in the next day or two, but work to finish the road and rebuild the breakwater will take longer.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Dan MacIntosh