Cape Bretoners keeping watchful eye on incoming weekend storm

WATCH ABOVE: Potential flooding is on the minds of Cape Bretoners as they look toward the weekend, keeping a watchful eye on a storm that could bring heavy rains to the region again. Global's Natasha Pace reports.

Potential flooding is on the minds of Cape Bretoners as they look toward the weekend, keeping a watchful eye on a storm that could bring heavy rains to the region again.

“If it’s as bad as it was last Monday, God bless us all,” said John Chant, Chief of the Glace Bay Fire Department.

READ MORE: Cape Bretoners frustrated with insurance companies as flood cleanup continues

Half of the station’s fleet is currently out of service following last week’s flooding, including a million dollar ladder truck.

The fire department wants to assure residents in the community that fire protection is covered, however the impending storm is causing some concern.

“I know there’s gonna be localized flooding. The infrastructure was overtaxed there last Monday, so hopefully we’ll be able to squeeze by on this one,” said Chief Chant.

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The Salvation Army food bank in Sydney is also concerned about the impending storm — while demand continues to rise, supplies are dwindling.

“I think everyone’s starting to get nervous with the forecast that’s coming this weekend,” said director of development, Rhonda Harrington.

READ MORE: Cape Bretoners assess flood damage unleashed in wake of devastating storm

“If we do get the high winds and the rain that they’re predicting — more power out, more potential spoilage of food. People are going to be then turning to us.”

Harrington says the food bank has been seeing more clients in the past year, however and since the floods it’s been operating almost non-stop.

They’re asking the public to help them with monetary and non-perishable food donations to try to keep up with the demand.

Residents should be proactive

City officials are planning for the worst. The latest weather event is expected to bring heavy rain and strong winds, followed by a dip in temperatures.

“The concern is trying to read the weather and anticipating cold after wet and having power outages is a big concern as well, aside from water damage so we’re trying to be as prepared as we possibly can,” said Cape Breton Regional Municipality Mayor, Cecil Clarke.

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READ MORE: Cape Breton residents fill info session following devastating floods

The municipality is asking residents to be proactive ahead of the storm.

“Clear out your gutters,” said CBRM spokesperson Christina Lamey. “A lot of leaves came down with that last storm and they’re probably sitting in your rain gutters so go check those out, clean the drainage around your house.”

So far, more than 1,300 people have registered as flood victims and officials now believe roughly 1,000 homeowners will apply for the Nova Scotia Disaster Financial Assistance Program.

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

While work continues to make money available to residents, there is talk about what will happen to two dozen of the hardest hit homes that have been deemed “no occupancy” by building inspectors.

The municipality is looking into making a section of Royal Avenue and St. Peter’s Road — where the worst flooding happened — a no-development zone, meaning the city would not allow any future residential or commercial development along the flood plain.

The province announced Thursday it would waive the $1,000 deductible for people applying to Disaster Financial Assistance Program. Application forms can be found here.

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