Pumps and hoses were busy in Truro and surrounding communities Tuesday as area residents cleaned up, a day after heavy rains swamped the Nova Scotia town.

Some parts of the town are still under water, but as things begin to dry up, people are beginning to assess the damage.

More than three feet of water poured into Crawford Purdy’s cellar and the process of getting it out is a slow and messy ordeal.

“Most I’ve ever had in the cellar here yet,” says Purdy. “The sump pumps even cut out on me and everything.”

It was a similar story on many streets hit by the flooding. In some cases, neighbours stepped in to help where they could.

“This is the fourth house they’ve been pumping out and I really appreciate it, because I had no way to get the water out of my basement,” says resident Cindy Carruthers.

In some neighbourhoods, sandbags were the last line of defence against the rising tide.

“We were here all night and it will take all day to clean the sand up,” says town worker Kirk Miller.

Most businesses have reopened, but not everyone is as lucky. Business owner Andy Johnson figures he is out thousands of dollars.            

“It’s a big mess,” says Johnson. “It’s going to take at least a week to clean up the physical damage and when you’re dealing with computers, that takes time as well.”

Cleanup is also underway at a local high school, which was evacuated just before a nearby dike broke.

“Operations were here starting at seven starting to pump the water out and clean it up as you can tell,” says Cobequid Educational Centre Principal Bill Kaulbach.

There is still no official word on how much the flood damage will cost the area.  

“There are some areas that still have some water in ditches and things, so until we get a full assessment on it, it would be premature to make a statement in exactly how bad it is,” says Dominic Fewer of the Nova Scotia Emergency Measures Organization.

MLA Lenore Zann met with flood victims throughout the day. She says if damages are more than $1 million dollars, the province may be eligible for disaster relief funding.

“In a way, I’m hoping it’s more than $1 million dollars because it’ll be nice to have some federal money to help us out too,” says Zann.

Truro Deputy Mayor Charles Cox thinks it is time for all levels of government to do whatever they can to help one another out.

“Whenever you have a situation such as this, when people’s lives are put in harm’s way, I don’t think that political jurisdiction should really enter into it,” says Cox.

In the meantime, the province is asking residents to be patient as crews continue to clean up after the flood.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Kayla Hounsell and Dan MacIntosh