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West Hants communities hit hard by flash floods during lightning storm

Lalia Kerr snapped this picture of flooded cars on a property on the Ellershouse Road. The river had breached its banks following an intense thunderstorm on Aug. 7.
Lalia Kerr snapped this picture of flooded cars on a property on the Ellershouse Road. The river had breached its banks following an intense thunderstorm on Aug. 7. - Contributed

More thunderstorms on the way

ELLERSHOUSE, N.S. — It’s said that lightning never strikes the same place twice, but a slow-moving thunderstorm lingered over Hants County for so long Aug. 7, that theory may have been put to the test.

While thunder rattled homes overhead, a deluge of rain turned tiny creeks into raging rivers, flooding some homes and washing out roads.

The Ellershouse area was particularly hard hit.

Brian Taylor, a media relations advisor with the Nova Scotia department of transportation and infrastructure, said several roads and a bridge were impacting by flash flooding on Aug. 7.

“A bridge on Trunk 1 near Ellershouse was reduced to one lane and several driveways were washed out in the local area,” Taylor said. “There were also a number of shoulders that were also washed out.”

Taylor said one cross culvert had to be completely replaced as one half of the roadway was washed out due to the intensity of the rain.

“Local crews are working to repair the damage today,” he said on Aug. 8. “Crews and equipment from surrounding areas have been brought in to assist in the repair work so it can be completed as quickly as possible.”

Taylor said the repairs are estimated to be complete by the end of day on Aug. 10, with additional cleanup to follow.

Donna Lee Upshaw took a picture of a brook behind a mobile home park on Highway 1 in Newport Corner, which had breached its banks and caused several residents to evacuate their homes.
Donna Lee Upshaw took a picture of a brook behind a mobile home park on Highway 1 in Newport Corner, which had breached its banks and caused several residents to evacuate their homes.

Cpl. Dal Hutchinson, a media relations officer with the RCMP, said Windsor District RCMP assisted with traffic control due to flash flooding in the right-hand lane of Highway 101 near Ellershouse around 6 p.m.

George Pineo, a deputy chief with the Brooklyn Fire Department, said they assisted TIR and REMO with road closures after responding to a potential lightning strike.

“It was all within a matter of 15 minutes after the lightning call that we had to start shutting down the roads,” he said.

Donna Lee Upshaw, who lives in a mobile home park near a brook in Newport Corner on Highway 1, said many of the mobile homes needed to be evacuated.

“The whole lower part (of Brook Street) was evacuated as the water from the brook was up to their doorstep,” Upshaw said. “One trailer had their power turned off and can’t return.”

She said that the shape of the small brook has changed since the flood, and the water is still up to some people’s doorsteps.

Lalia Kerr, who’s lived in Three Mile Plains for more than 60 years, said she’s never seen flooding that bad, that fast.

“We took a drive around, to Dawson Road, and we realized the road was actually closed,” Kerr said.

“Down on Ellershouse Road, we noticed a bunch of cars were basically underwater. I had never seen the river look like that. It’s usually just a tiny little stream,” Kerr continued.

“It was a rushing river; it was incredible.”

And it’s not over yet, according to Environment Canada, a severe thunderstorm warning is in effect for Hants Count on Aug. 8, and more could also develop later in the week.

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