Cape Breton officials say they are working hard to repair damaged roads and bridges and reconnect areas that are cut off from services such as hospitals and pharmacies.
The storm on Wednesday, caused more than 200 millimeters of rain in some areas, including the Ingonish River, Nova Scotia, for a total of 290 millimeters during the storm.
Washouts of roads or bridges in Ingonish, Tarbotvale, White Point, and other areas have left locals stuck or detoured for hours.
Lyle Donovan, the coordinator of the Victoria County Emergency Management Agency, said the repairs needed to be evaluated before construction began and asked people for patience.
“We work as quickly and safely as possible. It’s safe and it’s about accessing people as soon as possible, but we have to be safe about it,” he told CBC Information Morning Cape Breton on Thursday.
The Tarbotvale parish was completely isolated after the 30-meter-long steel truss bridge was washed away.
Rescuers cannot communicate with residents because telephones to the community and internet access are connected to the bridge and there is no cell service in the area.
Donovan said the stream across the bridge was still “fast, rushing water” and the crew could not come to check the inhabitants.
“We made visual contact with them through our neighbors. They saw them, they saw them outside and seemed to be fine, “he said.
Donovan said finding a route to the community can take days or weeks.
“We hope Mother Nature will begin to work with us and help us in this difficult task of helping everyone.”
Due to the impassable roads in the area, Ingonish residents are unable to reach a local hospital, Buchanan Memorial Hospital in Niels Harbor, or a nearby pharmacy. An alternative route is a 3-hour drive to western Cape Breton Island.
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