TARBOTVALE, NS –
About a dozen people are still stranded after a storm made landfall on Cape Breton earlier this week.
The local hospital, also had to call in more staff after a major road was washed away, making a commute longer to provide care.
A bridge in the community of Tarbotvale is the only link for some residents and during this week’s storm it was ripped apart and turned to rubble and drifted down the stream.
“There was an elderly couple who lived right near where the bridge went and they heard their whole house shake because they were so close to the river.” Barbara Longva, a Victoria County Councilor, said.
Dozens of people are still without phone and internet service.
The only way to receive supplies at this time is by ropes strung by the locals, stretching across the river.
“I’m sure they can take the helicopter or cross the river by boat when things calm down in an emergency, but right now they’re just making a small basket across the river to get the necessities.” Longva said.
“With the wind and everything, it’s really wild and pretty relentless.” Craig Jackson, a resident of Ingonish, said. “Facing that house, the large window can bend a little.”
Farther north, officials are dealing with infrastructure damage.
Roads that pass through sections of Cape Breton Highland National Park have been torn apart.
“Canadian parks have already shipped some heavy equipment and they are starting to build to reconstruct the road. So far the optimistic timeframe is between 7 and 10 days”. Lyle Donovan, EMO coordinator for Victoria County, said.
As a result, residents of Ingonish have to drive more than 3 hours along the west side of the island to get to the hospital in Neil’s’ Harbor.
It is creating havoc for the employees who work there.
“Between the nursing home and the hospital, they are working two shifts and they shift crews and have follow-up plans in place.” Donovan said.
Back in Tarbotvale, councilor Barbara Longva said teams were focused on repairing the road, but said it would take weeks and possibly months before the bridge was replaced.