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Storm damage leaves a dozen residents stranded in Cape Breton community

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TARBOTVALE, N.S. -

About a dozen people are still stranded after a storm battered Cape Breton earlier this week.

The local hospital, has also had to call in more staff after a major road was washed out, making for a much longer commute for care.

A bridge in the community of Tarbotvale is the only link for some residents and during this week’s storm it was ripped apart and reduced to rubble and sent floating down stream.

“There's an older couple that live right by where the bridge went and they heard their whole house vibrate because they're very close to the river.” Says Barbara Longva, a Victoria County Councillor.

A dozen people are still without phone service and internet.

The only way to receive supplies right now is by rope, put up by local residents, stretching across the river.

“I'm sure they could get a helicopter or cross the river by boat once things quiet down in case of an emergency, but right now they're just doing the little basket across the river to get essentials.” Says Longva.

“With the wind and stuff it was really wild and pretty relentless.” Says Craig Jackson, a resident in Ingonish. “Up against that house the big window was kind of flexing a bit.”

Farther north, officials are dealing with infrastructure damage.

Roads have been ripped a part through many sections of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

“Parks Canada has moved in some heavy equipment and they're beginning construction to reconstruct the road. So far the optimistic time frame is 7 to 10 days.” Says Lyle Donovan, EMO co-ordinator for Victoria County.

As a result, residents in Ingonish have to drive more than 3 hours along the western side of the island to get to the hospital in Neil’s’ Harbour.

It's creating havoc for the staff who works there.

“Between the nursing home and the hospital they're pulling double shifts and they switch out crews set up and there are further plans in the works.” Says Donovan.

Back in Tarbotvale, councillor Barbara Longva says crews are focusing on repairing roads, but says it will be weeks and possibly months before bridges are replaced.

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