October 28, 2016 10:50 am

Cold weather now a concern for Cape Breton flood victims

A car is seen partly submerged on a street in Sydney, Cape Breton.


With cold weather approaching, the mayor of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality says he’s ‘very concerned’ about residents who were recently affected by widespread flooding.

A Thanksgiving Day storm caused extensive damage across Cape Breton. The clean up continues in many communities, especially parts of Sydney, N.S., where some of the worst damage occurred.

Mayor Cecil Clarke says the cold weather is now causing more headaches for those affected by the floods.

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“We’re very concerned right now of the impact of mould on households,” Clarke told Global News.

Clarke says hundreds of volunteers have stepped forward to help those in need.

“We’ve been very fortunate to have Samaritans Purse in removing furnishing and belongings out of basements and gutting them. Without them we would be in a very serious situation right now.”

READ MORE:  Relief organization calls for volunteers to help with Cape Breton cleanup

A helpline was set up following the flood to help direct residents to the services they required. Clarke says the municipality had assumed those using the line would go down, but it turns out they haven’t.

That’s because there’s now a new wave of people affected by the aftermath of the floods. Clarke says those who were renting basement apartments are now being forced to leave their homes because they need to be gutted.

So far, 2,250 people have come forward to the help line to self identify as flood victims. Clarke says there’s no way to say how many people in total were affected by the flood, because some are self managing and not requiring the municipalities services.

WATCH: Cape Breton musicians rally together following flood

As for how much the disaster will end up costing, that’s still unclear.

Ralph Goodale, Canada’s Public Safety Minister, estimated the damage to be around $10 million dollars when he toured the area on October 14.

However, Clarke says it’s now estimated to cost between $4 and $5 million dollars alone to remove people from part of Sydney that was hardest hit. The hope is to declare a section of Royal Avenue and St. Peter’s Road a no-development zone and prevent future issues with flooding.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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