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‘All hands on deck’ in search for 4 people missing in N.S. after floods

Four people — including two children and a youth — were still missing days after devastating flooding in Nova Scotia, as hundreds of people were forced to flee a campground Monday on the province's South Shore.

2 children, a youth and a man are missing in the West Hants area of province

N.S. not 'such a peaceful province' anymore, reflects campground owner after flooding

3 hours ago

Duration 2:24

Randall Leighton tells CBC News of the rescue efforts to get people staying at his Nine Mile River, N.S., campground to safety after historic rainfall.

The latest:

  • Pickup truck two children were travelling in located, but unoccupied, say RCMP.
  • Search continues for four people after vehicles became submerged in floodwaters.
  • Nova Scotia's request for federal assistance approved.
  • Provincewide state of emergency in effect.
  • Evacuation order issued for campground near Mahone Bay.
  • Municipality of the District of Lunenburg declares local state of emergency.
  • If the power or data on your device is low, get your storm updates on text-only CBC Lite.

Four people — including two children and a youth — were still missing days after devastating flooding in Nova Scotia, as hundreds of people were forced to flee a campground Monday on the province's South Shore.

A mandatory emergency evacuation order was issued for RayPort Campground near Mahone Bay, N.S., shortly before 1 p.m. AT on Monday, with the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg declaring a local state of emergency.

Meanwhile in the West Hants area of the province, crews were scouring for any sign of four people who went missing when the vehicles they were travelling in became submerged in floodwaters over the weekend.

The RCMP said a pickup truck believed to have been carrying two missing children was found in a flooded field on Sunday, but no one was inside.

A separate search is focused on an adult man and a youth.

Windsor and West Hants Municipality Mayor Abraham Zebian said it's "all hands on deck," with ground search and rescue, police and dive teams all taking part in the search.

He said thousands of gallons of water is being pumped out of an area of interest in an effort to allow crews better access.

"We're really hoping for the best at this point and really working hard," Zebian told CBC Radio's Maritime Noon.

To protect the privacy of families, RCMP said it will not yet be releasing the identities of those missing or any other personal information.

Speaking from Mahone Bay on Monday, Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston said he was "hoping for some miracle" in the search for the four individuals.

He noted the recent natural disasters Nova Scotia has experienced — including hurricanes, wildfires and now flooding — has been exhausting for both first responders and residents.

"We have the expression Nova Scotia strong, but do we have to keep proving it?" said Houston.

"Every one of those situations has required people to really step up and help their friends and neighbours and first responders. They don't wait. The phone rings, they jump and they get going."

Much of the province has been dealing with severe flooding and impassable roads after torrential downpours swept in overnight Friday and into Saturday.

A provincewide state of emergency was declared late Saturday, with West Hants, East Hants, the Halifax Regional Municipality, Lunenburg County and Queens County considered among the hardest hit areas.

Late Sunday, federal Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair said he approved a request for federal assistance from the province.

4 missing after historic flooding in Nova Scotia

15 hours ago

Duration 2:33

Four people who were in two separate vehicles were carried off by floodwaters in Nova Scotia over the weekend.

Houston said the province submitted the request on Saturday night to help cover uninsurable costs.

Public Works Minister Kim Masland said Monday that 18 bridges were damaged in the floods, and six were completely destroyed.

Masland said progress is being made on repairs to roads and bridges, but it will take some time to get a full assessment of the damage given water levels are still high in some areas.

Masland said crews are working tirelessly and pointed to a "success story" in East Hants, where 400 people were stranded after the only bridge to the Atlantic Motorsport Park was washed out.

The Bridgestone Canadian Superbike Championship was set to take place on Saturday. The event was cancelled, but some crew members and drivers were already on site.

Masland said workers arrived Sunday morning and were able to build a temporary bridge overtop of the remains of the existing bridge.

"They worked until 10:30 p.m. last night in extreme heat and they were able to make that passable with a bridge structure for people to leave last night," Masland told CBC's Information Morning Nova Scotia.

She said it's to early to put a dollar amount on the damage to provincial infrastructure.

Canada Post said Monday that collection and delivery of mail is on hold in the province until the company can better evaluate safe areas for delivery. Post offices are closed for the day.

The RCMP has said the best source for the latest road conditions is 511, both by phone and online.

Halifax-area residents growing 'weary'

Halifax Regional Municipality Mayor Mike Savage noted the floods come less than two months after a wildfire ripped through 151 homes in the Hammonds Plains and Upper Tantallon areas, where many people are dealing with flooded basements.

"This continuing escalation of all the different weather events that we've had I think has certainly made people very weary," Savage told Information Morning Nova Scotia.

"It's really distressing…. My heart breaks for all those people and particularly for the families of the folks we're looking for."

Savage said it's too early to have a full picture of the damaged infrastructure in the municipality, but more than 300 work orders have come in, including for damage to roads, culverts and parks.

A map of roads blocked due to flooding in the Halifax region is available here.

Nova Scotia starts cleanup after devastating floods

15 hours ago

Duration 3:51

As floodwaters begin to recede in parts of Nova Scotia, the devastation from a weekend of massive downpours is becoming clear. It’s the latest disaster to strike the province after a year of fire and floods.

Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency Deputy Chief David Meldrum said during the storm, 255 calls for service came in — everything from people trapped in buildings and cars to flood waters tripping fire alarms.

"It was more like a cab company than than a fire department," said Meldrum. "A lot of risks for firefighters. The swift moving water is very dangerous for civilians and it's dangerous for us, too. It can hurt firefighters, kill firefighters."

In Bedford, where floodwaters had submerged much of the Bedford Place Mall parking lot, city officials were urging residents, including those who have tried to return and access vehicles left behind, to stay away as the area remained unsafe.

Sandy Lake Beach in Bedford is closed to swimming and recreational activities until further notice due to an overflowing Halifax Water wastewater pumping station adjacent to the lake.

Halifax Water said flooding caused the pump and its electrical systems to fail at the station on Farmer's Dairy Lane, and wastewater is flooding directly into the lake.

The utility was asking people in that area to reduce the amount of water they are flushing and pouring into their drains to help minimize the amount of wastewater released into the environment.

Halifax Water's Jeff Myrick said Sunday that crews have been working non-stop since Friday evening to manage the flow of water around the municipality. All dams remained structurally sound and were being monitored, he said.

Severe flooding closes roadways, businesses in Bedford, N.S.

2 days ago

Duration 0:46

Significant flooding after torrential downpours has forced several roadways and businesses to close in Bedford, N.S.

Those affected by flooding in the municipality can go to the comfort centre set up at the East Dartmouth Community Centre at 50 Caledonia Rd., which will remain open until further notice, the city said.

By Monday morning, only about 300 Nova Scotia Power customers were without electricity, down from a peak of around 80,000 at the height of the storm.



Aly Thomson


Aly Thomson is an award-winning journalist based in Halifax who loves helping the people of her home province tell their stories. She is particularly interested in issues surrounding justice, education and the entertainment industry. You can email her with tips and feedback at aly.thomson@cbc.ca.

    With files from Information Morning Nova Scotia, Maritime Noon

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