‘We're moving stuff around, sand bagging the doors ...'
Logs and other debris that came downriver during recent flooding has become jammed up higher than the bottom of a bridge on Highway 311 in North River and residents Scott Hoeg and Jerome Frizzell are concerned about flooding issues if the jam is not soon cleared. HARRY SULLIVAN TRURO DAILY NEWS
NORTH RIVER - Hearing this weekend's forecast for more rain, Jerome Frizzell looks to the log-jammed bridge near his house and wonders, what if?
"If that blocks off we are going to get flooded," the North River resident said.
Next door neighbour Scott Hoeg shares his concern.
"That bridge opening, whenever we get high water it can barely handle it as it is," said Hoeg. "So, whenever we get two days of rain where we're getting an inch or two a day, I mean it's going to back up into Jerome's property and then onto mine."
"We're pretty much on watch now anytime we know we're going to get an inch of rain in a day. We're moving stuff around, sand bagging the doors and that kind of thing. Just prevention."
The bridge in question spans the North River on Highway 311 near the old Aenon Baptist church and cemetery.
The waterway under the bridge is constructed with a wooden divider in the centre and one passageway is almost entirely blocked by full-sized trees, branches and other debris that washed down river during recent flood conditions.
The first of those two storms, which dumped more than 100 mm of rain onto the area, resulted in an accumulation of six inches of water in Hoeg's basement. And that was before the bridge became as blocked as it now is.
Frizzell, who is located closer to the bridge, said his home was also close to flooding and both men shudder at what could happen if any more blockage takes place during a major rainfall.
Paul MacDonald, operations supervisor with the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal said he is aware of the logjam but given the road washouts and other widespread flooding damage currently being repaired throughout the county, removing the logs from under the bridge is currently not his top priority.
"It would be high on the priority list if we didn't have all these washouts. But now it isn't," he said.
"We've got public safety to worry about with the washouts and everything else. When they're dealt with, we'll look at that. I mean that's definitely got to be fixed up before the winter comes. The problem there is not the water, it's the ice," he said.
"We're aware of the problem and when the safety issues are resolved, we'll deal with it."
Area councillor Ron Cavanaugh, however, believes the logjam does pose a safety problem should further flooding problems occur.
He also worries that some of the graves at the nearby cemetery could be damaged if the bridge becomes totally blocked and water begins to back up to that level.
"And it is dangerous. If that comes up and it's on the side where the graveyard is, that could be major flooding and we could lose the 311 (Highway)," he said.