NORTH RIVER - The provincial government is committing to fix a berm just outside Truro, a day after it said repairing the privately built flood barrier wasn't its responsibility.
The berm behind Molly's Dairy Bar in North River was damaged by a storm that caused flooding almost two weeks ago.
Several business owners in the area were worried about further flooding if it wasn't repaired.
On Thursday, Agriculture Minister John MacDonell - whose department is responsible for many dikes in the area - said a private citizen built the berm and it wasn't the government's responsibility to fix it.
But the province's Emergency Management Office said Friday that transportation department staff would repair it.
"Our attitude is that it doesn't matter who owns it, all levels of government should come up with a solution to the problem," said Truro-Bible Hill MLA Lenore Zann, who was at the announcement yesterday afternoon. "We don't know how much it's going to cost - cost is not an issue right now. It's about keeping the people protected. With global warming, higher tides, more storms - more severe storms and more frequent storms - we want to look at this with a longterm view rather than just a two- to three-year fix."
Zann noted the province always said it intended to fix the overall problem and that Premier Darrell Dexter promised flood damage would be repaired as part of a larger overall assessment of the dike system.
"There have been engineers looking at the berm all the way down the river and they've discovered three breaches," she said, adding officials didn't think the situation would get worse over the weekend with rain in the forecast. "They've been here all week long, assessing the damage and to see what needs to be done."
Jay Brenton, regional director with the Department of Environment, said crews are looking at starting the work early next week, but it depends on the water.
"Providing the flow goes down. There's still an awful lot of water going through and to have workers in there would be a safety issue."
Brenton said the breach behind Molly's Dairy is about 500 feet in length.
"There are two others that aren't this significant on this section of the berm. One is close to the Trans Canada Highway and the other is further down the berm several hundred feet."
The government has said emergency management officials are scheduled to meet with municipal officials and engineering experts on Wednesday to discuss what needs to be done to shore up the entire dike system in the area.
With files from The Canadian Press.