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Nova Scotia government giving $500,000 to Cape Breton storm cleanup

A street is washed out after torrential rains caused flooding in Sydney, Cape Breton. .
A street is washed out after torrential rains caused flooding in Sydney, Cape Breton. . Natasha Pace/Global News

The government of Nova Scotia is giving $500,000 to Cape Breton United Way in an effort to help the island recover from damage caused by a storm earlier this week.

Cape Breton was met with widespread flooding and destruction when a Thanksgiving weekend storm brought heavy winds and more than 200 millimetres of rain to the region.

READ MORE: Storm aftermath: Most Cape Breton schools open, crews work to restore power

United Way will determine how the money is distributed based on need — anyone requesting assistance should contact United Way.

United Way says they’ve already raised more than $33,000, on top of the $25,000 already given from the municipality.

There are no details, yet, about who will be eligible for the relief funding.

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The Cape Breton Regional Municipality has also started a help desk for those affected by the storm — residents can call 902-562-HELP (4357).

Since 8 a.m. Friday, Cape Breton Regional Municipality Mayor Cecil Clarke said they’ve received more than 800 contacts which are being assessed and categorized for response.

Clarke also said 17 to 18 homes in the hard hit Sydney area have been deemed inhabitable.

The provincial government has put in a formal request for assistance from the federal government, which the feds said Thursday would “be handled without delay.”

In an update Friday afternoon, Nova Scotia Power said they’d restored power to all but 35 of the customers who lost electricity due to the storm.

There are still no estimates of the total costs of repairing and rebuilding after the storm.

The Cape Breton music community is pulling together to help the victims of the Thanksgiving Day flood rebuild their lives.

There will be a series of concerts coordinated across a number of venues in the CBRM in the coming weeks, under the brand #Floodsgiving2016, culminating with a major concert at Center 200 on Nov. 27.