Sydney mom says continuous flooding woes need to be addressed
Published Wednesday, December 5, 2018 9:51PM AST
Last Updated Wednesday, December 5, 2018 9:58PM AST
A Sydney woman is frustrated by what she sees as the lack of work being done to prevent flooding in her neighbourhood.
As water levels have returned to normal outside Chelsea O’Neil’s home, inside, her life is anything but normal.
“We’re still without heat going on a week (Thursday),” O’Neil said. “We've been in contact with pretty much every department through Sydney to Halifax … grants, insurance.”
Last week’s rainstorm caused Wash Brook beside her house to overflow its bank and flooding O’Neil's basement and damage her furnace permanently.
Now, she's doing everything she can to keep her nine-month old baby girl and family warm. She’s been forced to use her oven and space heaters to heat her home.
“In two years, this is probably the fifth or sixth time that it's flooded,” said O’Neil. “This is the first time we've lost the furnace. Other times it kicked back on, but because there was oil in the water this time we are not risking turning it on.”
O’Neil reached out to her MLA Derek Mombourquette, desperately pleading for help. Today he paid the family a visit.
“We look for any grants or programs through the provincial government that they may qualify for through Housing Nova Scotia or any other department,” Mombourquette said.
Since the Thanksgiving flood of 2016, O’Neil says the flooding in her area of town has become worse. She says the city has done nothing to prevent water from flowing onto her property.
O'Neil says the situation becomes more stressful as Christmas approaches. She's expecting family from away in just a couple of weeks.
“If we have to wait for all these applications to be sent away -- it's been so hard just trying to get people to answer your calls -- by the time everything goes through, whether we get funding or not, It's going to be close to Christmas and this isn't going to be a one day job,” O’Neil said. “We want this done before Christmas. We want our house heated.”
It’s a frustrating feeling, but one O’Neil hopes will improve so her family is not left out in the cold over the holidays.
To make matters worse, O’Neil heard back from her insurance company Wednesday afternoon. Her insurance will not cover the cost to fix the furnace.
The city meanwhile says there's not much they can do either, because O’Neil lives on a flood plain.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore.