Quebec Standard

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Heavy rains washed off White Point Road, isolating off local inhabitants from the rest of Cape Breton

​​Cape Breton officials say they’re trying hard to fix damaged roads and bridges and reconnect towns that have been cut off from services like hospitals and pharmacies. Some regions received more than 200 millimetres of rain during a storm on Wednesday, including Ingonish River, N.S., which received 290 mm.

Ingonish, Tarbotvale, White Point, and other communities have been trapped or face hours-long detours due to road or bridge washouts.

Lyle Donovan, co-ordinator of Victoria County’s Emergency Management Office, stated that repair work must be reviewed before building can begin, and he appealed for patience.

Lyle Donovan further mentioned, “We’re working as fast and as safely as possible. It’s all about being safe and getting access to people as quickly and as fast as possible, but we have to be safe when we’re doing it.”

After a 30-meter steel truss bridge was swept out, the town of Tarbotvale is now completely isolated. The bridge was used to bring phone and internet lines into the neighbourhood. Because there is no mobile service in the region, emergency responders are unable to interact with people.

According to Donovan, the river that the bridge crossed is still “fast, rushing water” for rescuers to get across to check on people.

According to Donovan, getting a route to the village may take days or even weeks. Due to impassable roads in the vicinity, residents in Ingonish are unable to access the local hospital, Buchanan Memorial Hospital in Neils Harbour, or a nearby drugstore. A three-hour journey around western Cape Breton is an alternative way.

Source: CBC News

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