Major rain damage in Canada’s Atlantic region but dam breach threat lifted

Significant damage to roads and infrastructure reported in Halifax, the province’s largest city

The heaviest rains in more than 40 years badly damaged a major city in Canada’s Atlantic region on Saturday but authorities are no longer concerned a dam might breach, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp said.

The storm, which started on Friday, had dumped more than 20 cm (8 inches) on parts of the eastern province of Nova Scotia by 8am. local time on Saturday.

“There is significant damage to roads and infrastructure. Conditions are not safe for vehicles and pedestrians at this time,” tweeted the regional municipality in the port of Halifax, the province’s largest city.

It could get worse since Environment Canada is predicting torrential rain in the east of the province, continuing into Sunday. At one point, more than 70,000 people were without power.


“It has been a terrible night for our community,” tweeted Halifax mayor Mike Savage. Pictures posted on social media showed abandoned cars almost covered with flood waters and rescue workers using boats to save people.

CBC meteorologist Ryan Snoddon said the Halifax rains were the heaviest since a hurricane hit the city in 1971.

The flooding was the latest weather-related calamity to pound Canada this year. Wildfires across much of the country have already burned a record number of hectares, sending clouds of smoke south into the United States.Earlier this month, heavy rains caused floods in several eastern U.S. states.

Early on Saturday, authorities in northern Nova Scotia ordered residents to evacuate amid fears a dam near the St Croix river system could be breached. But local mayor Abraham Zebian later said the danger had been averted.

“Thankfully it is under control. They relieved some water from that dam,” he told the CBC.