Nova Scotians deliver help to one another with cash and labour for flood cleanup

Residents of Sunnyvale Crescent in Lower Sackville are still cleaning up from the deadly and destructive flash flooding that impacted parts of Nova Scotia one week ago.

Sewer backups and the overflow from the nearby Little Sackville River flooded basements, with some residents seeing upwards of four to seven feet of water enter their home last Friday.

Blair LeBlanc lives on Sunnyvale Crescent but was in Cape Breton when the storm hit. He was notified by his security system of the flood in his basement and he and his wife, Christine, raced home.

What he discovered when he returned home after midnight was a sewer backup, and his back door blown open by the rushing river in his backyard.

“Here’s the water line here,” said LeBlanc, pointing to the brown water stain that lined the white walls of his basement.

“That was four feet,” said LeBlanc, who has been busy cleaning out his basement.

The front lawn is scattered with soiled and damaged furniture, appliances, and other household items.

Along the street, most homes look similar to LeBlanc’s, with items stacked on the lawn and in their driveways.

Even though they are in disaster clean-up mode, it seems everyone along the street is willing to extend a hand and help their neighbour.

“My neighbour lent me his generator, and I’ve been lending pressure washers and squeegees and that for clean up,” said LeBlanc.

LeBlanc’s wife Christene runs a daycare out of their home and is now without a space to work but a neighbour has offered help.

“A friend of hers up the street has a daycare as well and she’s going to basically co-work together and take the children there for a couple of weeks,” he said.

In Bedford, a GoFundMe ( page is raising funds to help restore the Joan and Robert Lenihan baseball fields to proper playing conditions.

The torrential record rain and the swollen Sackville River flooded the park and turned it into a lake.

A kayaker was seen paddling around the ball diamond where the infield used to be, in waters that almost reach the top of the seven-foot outfield fence.

Today the diamond is drying up under the sun, but it’s covered in sediment and debris. The canteen and equipment and storage sheds are destroyed.

“We’ve raised close to ten thousand dollars with the GoFundMe,” said Ken Lenihan, a minor baseball organizer in Bedford.

Lenihan believes minor baseball games will be able to resume at some point next week, but the rebuilding of the canteen and other equipment and storage facilities will take some time.

“Unfortunately we don’t have power and so that kind of limits what we can do,” said Lenihan. “But we’ll figure out what we can do and we’ll get reconstructing.”

Rainfall totals in parts of Nova Scotia for last Friday saw up to 250 millimetres or more of water fall in the span of 12 to 18 hours.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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