There could be some flooding in Colchester County during the next 24 hours if tropical storm Gabrielle arrives as predicted. That’s usually what happens hereabouts when gale-force winds and heavy rains leave their calling card.
But if all the work completed in the past year holds up, don’t expect to see anything close to resembling the mother of all fall floods last Sept. 10.
That’s when tropical storm Leslie dumped more than 100 millimetres of rain in this region, resulting in the Salmon and North rivers overflowing and breaching nearby dikes and berms. Inevitably, large tracts of low-lying land in Truro and central Colchester were covered in water.
Homes had to be evacuated in Truro and Bible Hill, horses had to be removed from some barns at the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition, basements were flooded and washouts damaged roads. At one point, most of the primary entry and exit points into the town were not passable.
It didn’t quite warrant a state of emergency being called but the damages – an estimated $3.5 million – prompted a strong call for action.
And in the past 12 months action is what we’ve seen with both levels of government – provincial and municipal – working closely together to get things done.
In fact, the list of accomplishments is outstanding. Here are just a few:
- berms behind Molly’s Dairy Bar in North River and further down river repaired.
- berm, trenching and culvert work around Eddy’s in Salmon River.
- work done along the river banks behind the Timbit soccer complex on Park Street and next to the Park Street bridge.
- berm work done to protect homes just over the Walker Street Bridge in Bible Hill.
- berm work at the Holy Well Park in Bible Hill
- a retention pond being built next to Truro Elementary School.
And there is much more work on the horizon with the provincial and local governments teaming up to fund eight more projects all designed to minimize flood damage risk.
We’re not saying that floods are going the way of the dinosaur in this region. After all, who knows what will happen should the river ice backup come early spring?
Perhaps the rains today will provide the first early test of how far we’ve come since last September.