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Residents recount 'shock and awe' from flash flood in downtown Kentville


KENTVILLE, N.S. - The flash flood proved fleeting, but the memories remain.

Elizabeth Riley was working on the Rosie’s side of Paddy’s Pub, a popular weekend destination on the corner of Aberdeen and Webster streets, when the streets of downtown Kentville temporarily filled with rainwater.

“It was pouring and then one of my customers went to leave out of the front door and, at the front door of Rosie’s, the water was up to the step,” recalled Riley with a laugh.

“There was actually a customer out there and he was like up to his knees in the water out by the street.”

Streets in downtown Kentville temporarily flooded during a heavy downpour that occurred in the evening Aug. 4.
Streets in downtown Kentville temporarily flooded during a heavy downpour that occurred in the evening Aug. 4.

Riley is able to reflect on the event with a light-hearted chuckle in hindsight knowing that no one was hurt and no damage was done at her workplace.

“Everybody was up watching and looking and taking pictures,” she said.

“We all had a good laugh, and shock and awe.”

It was a close call that quickly became the talk of the town, she said.  

“Our patio was under water… I’ve never seen anything like that before in my life,” she added.

“If we would have gotten any more rain it would have been into the restaurant.”

Riley estimated that the flooding took place around 8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and she thinks it took roughly 20 minutes or so for the water to drain once the downpour subsided.

“My manager, who had left shortly before that, said she was driving by the liquor store in Kentville and there was actually water coming into her car. The water was quite deep,” the Kentville resident said. “The boardwalk for our patio was floating.”

Cheryl Hanson of Kentville captured some video footage of the flooding around 8:30 p.m. from the NSLC store on Main Street.

“It only rained from my drive from the Big Stop (in New Minas) to the liquor store and that’s how much water accumulated. There was actually a guy in the liquor store who had just come from Halls Harbour and couldn’t believe it because he hadn’t seen any rain,” said Hanson.

SHELLEY CORCORAN photos
SHELLEY CORCORAN photos

The water was up to her ankles when she stepped outside the store, she said.

“One guy took his shoes off when he left the liquor store so he wouldn’t ruin them,” she said.

“It was pretty incredible.”

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