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The Epoch Times
The Epoch Times
22 Jul 2023

NextImg:Record-Breaking Downpours From Thunderstorms Cause Flooding Across Nova Scotia

A long procession of intense thunderstorms have dumped record amounts of rain across a wide swath of Nova Scotia, causing flash flooding, road washouts and power outages.

Torrential downpours started Friday afternoon across the Halifax region, dumping more than 200 millimetres of rain in the Hammonds Plains, Bedford and Lower Sackville areas—and there was more rain in the forecast for Saturday. The port city typically receives about 100 mm of rain during an average month.

Based on radar estimates and unofficial observations, Environment Canada says some areas may have received more than 300 mm in 24 hours. Radar maps show the heaviest rainfall extending along the province’s southwestern shore to a point just north of Halifax.

Widespread flooding has also been reported in Lunenberg County, which is west of the Halifax region.

As Emily Noseworthy surveyed a washed-out bridge on the Bedford Highway on Saturday afternoon, the Halifax resident said she was stranded in the suburb north of the city, unable to get to her job on the Dartmouth side of Halifax harbour.

“I’m sending them pictures,” she said, referring to her employer at the Dartmouth Crossing big-box shopping area. “I can’t move.”

Noseworthy described driving through a treacherous downpour on Friday night to visit her cousin.

“We didn’t want to stay the night, but by 8:30, we walked out and saw the flooding.”

In the Hammonds Plains area, northwest of the city, flooding has washed out driveways and crumbled the shoulders of many roads.

That’s the same area where 151 homes and businesses were destroyed by a wildfire that started on May 28th.

On Twitter, one resident wryly predicted: “Locusts next week.”

Meanwhile, residents in the Halifax region are being warned to stay off the roads, including several major highways. Online maps produced by the region show more than 30 road blockages, mainly to the north and west of Halifax.

Rainfall warnings remain in effect for central and eastern Nova Scotia, including Cape Breton. And an additional 40 to 100 mm of rain was expected by Saturday night.

Earlier in the day, an evacuation order was issued for people living near the St. Croix River system in central Nova Scotia, where a dam was at risk of being breached, but the order was later dropped as the storm moved on.

“The amounts of rain received so far has varied dramatically across the province and even within the same county,” Environment Canada said in a statement.

“While the rain could be intermittent throughout (Saturday), occasional torrential downpours and embedded thundershowers could potentially give much higher amounts of rain locally.”

In some areas, submerged streets remain littered with abandoned vehicles. Halifax RCMP said residents shouldn’t leave home unless it’s an emergency.

Scores of images shared on social media show cars plowing through deep water. And one video from the Windsor Junction area north of Halifax shows firefighters standing on the roof of their submerged pumper truck.

At one point, more than 70,000 homes and businesses were in the dark as lightning strikes knocked out electricity.

Nova Scotia Power, the province’s privately owned electric utility, opened its emergency operations centre at 5 a.m.

In the Halifax area, two evacuation centres opened on Friday night. The Beaver Bank Community Centre and East Dartmouth Community Centre will remain open until further notice.