Andrea Stockton, staff writer
December 17, 2010 — Hundreds of people seek disaster financial assistance after widespread flooding in the Maritimes.
Heavy rain started pounding the Maritimes on Monday with close to 200 mm recorded in both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia by Thursday.
Water levels in many rivers rose to dangerous heights and several homeowners faced flooded basements. Now, recovery programs and damage assessments are the top priority.
New Brunswick's Premier David Alward took to the skies for an aerial view of the damage in St. Stephen and says the province is promising financial aid for those with flooded homes and businesses.
More than 335 people had registered for disaster financial assistance in New Brunswick by Friday morning.
The heavy rain and strong winds lead to power outages in some communities. At the height of the storm 85,000 people in Nova Scotia were knocked off the grid. The winds damaged a senior's residence in Windsor as well, forcing the evacuation of 13 people.
“I've lived here all my life... it's never been as bad as this. Never ever,” said one local resident in Cape Breton.
“It pretty well destroyed the whole basement,” said another. “There's a bunch of water damage, and as you can see, we'll all have to wear rubber boots here for the next few days.”
Travelling around southern New Brunswick got a little easier on Friday as a major highway reopened. Highway 1 near St. George is no longer underwater.
QUEBEC ALSO HIT BY FLOODING
While conditions started to improve as waters receded across the Maritimes, a state of emergency was still in place for Quebec's Gaspe region.
Over 230 mm of rain has fallen in the last few days, causing severe flooding and forcing hundreds of residents from their homes. Around 150 people went to stay at emergency shelters set up by the Canadian Red Cross.
Roads near swollen waterways crumbled, but the Ministry of Transportation ensured all major roadways were accessible through alternate routes. VIA Rail temporarily suspended services in and out of Gaspe as parts of the tracks were underwater.
To stay up-to-date on current weather conditions in your area, be sure to check your local forecast.You can also tune in to The Weather Network on TV, where your National Forecast comes up at the top and bottom of every hour.
With files from Lyndsay Morrison and Lisa Varano