Canada

‘A resilient bunch’: N.L. mayor says town will endure as more rain, wind forecast

BARRIE —
The mayor of Port aux Basques, N.L., says work to repair portions of a vital highway in the community are progressing as more rain and harsh winds loom.

The town was effectively cut-off from the rest of the province after devastating rain last week, which caused portions of the Trans-Canada Highway to be washed out or collapse.

Brian Button, mayor of Port aux Basques, told CTV News Channel that the washouts along the highway are “very large.”

“I mean, it was just tremendous,” he said. “I had the chance to go on site to have a look at the one closest to our community [and it] was hard to believe that a little stream that I’m used to seeing there could do so much devastation.”

Button said the town has been using helicopters to transport people to and from Port aux Basques for medical or work reasons.

When it comes to supplies, Button said Marine Atlantic has been able to get a ferry to the town to deliver items for grocery stores.

“Some people move [by ferry] as well,” he explained.

Overall, Button said the town is “managing.”

“There’s been certainly some hiccups along the way,” he said, adding that both the helicopter and ferry service depends on the weather.

In a tweet on Sunday, the province’s transportation and infrastructure department said repairs have been made on the Trans-Canada Highway in southwestern Newfoundland to allow traffic to flow Monday at two of the four damaged areas.

“Repairs are also progressing as planned near the weigh scales outside Port aux Basques and near Little Paradise Park,” the tweet reads.

Officials said they anticipate the areas near the weigh scales and at Little Paradise Park will be reopened mid-week.

Button called the developments “good news,” but the town is facing down more harsh weather as a “substantial” amount of rain, along with strong winds have been forecast for the area.

“I’m hoping that some of this work can get done so we can steady up the efforts that they’re trying to do before we have to tackle the inclement weather that’s forecasted for us,” he said.

Environment Canada issued a rainfall warning just before 4 p.m. ET for Channel-Port aux Basques and the vicinity.

According to the weather agency, between 50 and 70 millimetres of rain — which will be heavy at times — is expected between Monday evening and Tuesday morning.

What’s more, a wreckage wind warning is also in effect for the area.

Button said Newfoundland and Labrador residents are “a resilient bunch” and will endure this latest rash of harsh weather.

“I think we’ll get through this and weather the storm,” he said. “We just have to hope that the weather that’s coming in — it doesn’t cause more damages, which will put us certainly in situations where we’ll be still looking for the services that we’re getting right now.” 



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