Sydney residents hope relief will prevent future floods
Published Monday, October 1, 2018 10:49PM ADT
Almost exactly two years after the devastating flood of thanksgiving 2016, Nova Scotia's government is promising money aimed at preventing future flooding in Sydney.
The city is expecting $2.5 million dollars through disaster financial assistance, but those still living in the area are wondering whether it will be enough.
Nearly two years ago, Sydney's South End Community Centre was demolished after being ruined in the 2016 Thanksgiving Day flood.
On Monday, politicians returned to where the centre once stood -- now a community garden -- to announce new hope that such a disaster won't happen in this neighbourhood again.
“We will qualify for 2.5 million dollars,” said MLA Derek Mombourquette.“That's based on a percentage that we are allowed to qualify for on the overall total. That final number is still being worked out. But we will qualify.”
This so-called flood mitigation funding will come through the federal disaster financial assistance program.
That’s the same program that helped some residents rebuild their lives after their homes were destroyed when more than 225 millimetres of rain fell in just one day.
“There's a formula with any disaster,” said MP Mark Eyking.“This is prevention. It's a little bit different, but we're there every step of the way and we're going to make sure that people don't have to go through the situation they went through two years ago, in the future.”
People whose homes were flooded are mostly optimistic about the plan.
Although some still have questions about whether the area will be deemed a no-development zone.
“If the remediation is correct, if it is done correctly, and perhaps we have to look at other cities that have done this, maybe … maybe this doesn't have to be declared a non-development area,” said Tom Penney.
Gordie Rhymes thinks it could work.
“They're going to try to hold the water back, at the flow,” said Rhymes. “I think it'll work.”
In the spring, the Cape Breton Regional municipality hired an engineering firm to identify infrastructure projects needed for flood mitigation.
Among them, the removal of a large culvert on Whitney Avenue that has a history of backing up during heavy rain.
“It's been two years, almost to the day, and at least they're going to do something, right?” said Rhymes.
Residents are hoping for something that will mitigate flood fears once and for all.
The two year anniversary of the flood is coming up on Oct. 10 and it's still strange to see all these empty lots where homes once stood.
Most who were affected have since been able to relocate and move on with their lives.
Homeowners we spoke with Monday say that's something to be thankful for.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Ryan MacDonald.