Worst rain for 50 years causes widespread flooding in Nova Scotia

‘Biblical’ flooding in Nova Scotia – attributable to the heaviest rainfall in more than 50 years – has caused extensive damage, according to officials.

The storm, which started on 21 July, saw more than 25 cm (10 inches) of rain fall on some parts of the province in 24 hours. The resulting floods washed away roads, weakened bridges and swamped buildings.

“We have a scary, significant situation,” said Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston, adding that at least seven bridges would have to be replaced or rebuilt.

“The property damage to homes … is pretty unimaginable,” he told a news conference. Houston said the province would be seeking significant support from the federal government. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters in Toronto he was very concerned about the floods and promised that Ottawa “will be there” for the province.

Authorities have declared a state of emergency in Halifax, the largest city in Nova Scotia, and four other regions.

The regional municipality in Halifax reported “significant damage to roads and infrastructure” and urged people to stay at home and not use their cars. At one point, more than 80,000 people were without power.

Canada has been besieged by storms and wildfires this summer. Last week, there were 881 wildfires burning across the country, according to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC). As readers will be only too aware, climate change is driving larger, more frequent and erratic wildfires around the world.