Sydney residents pushing to make hardest hit area a no-development zone
The people who live in the Sydney neighbourhood hardest hit by flooding are saying that no one should be allowed to build on their land again.
"Most of us have agreed this was so horrific, we would not want to go through this ever again – nor should anybody else," said homeowner Tom Penney.
Residents living in the St. Peter’s Road area are encouraging the city to make their properties a no-development zone, which would mean relocating residents of 17 homes expected to be demolished.
"The 100 per cent consensus was that we move forward with a relocation and remediation plan," said Cape Breton Regional Mayor Cecil Clarke.
What that plan might entail is still in the early stages. Clarke says while a final decision has to be made soon, there are many details to sort out.
"What the assistance relief will be for the affected homes,” said Clarke. “We'll have to have a fair market assessment done, the appraisals done."
The decision to declare an area a no-development zone has to go through both municipal council and the province. Clarke will travel to Halifax later this week to meet with provincial officials on the matter.
A couple streets over, a different neighbourhood is facing similar issues but are still trying to salvage their homes.
"Trying to get my furnace back online, my hot water back online,” said homeowner Michael McInnis. “My sump pump is gone, my deep freeze is gone, my washer and dryer. Just gotta start over, I guess."
Other homes are being gutted so it can be sprayed against mould.
"This is just throwing it out. Now, you have to rebuild it again,” said disaster response worker Dirk Vanoord. “And is there money for it? Can you find carpenters? This is very devastating."
It’s not only people affected by the flooding. Homeowner Lucy Wintermans says her cat’s skin began to peel after getting covered in furnace oil.
"All the other animals that aren't household pets and don't have people to take care of them and take them to the vet and pay their medical bills. What happens to all those animals?" said Wintermans.
Residents in the hardest hit area are now left with many unanswered questions.
"If we move to a new house, are they going to consider that a new tax base?" asks Tom Penney.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Ryan MacDonald.