Nova Scotia flood will likely break rainfall records: meteorologist

Thousands of Nova Scotians remain in the dark Saturday morning after a severe rainstorm that flooded basements, yards and roadways Friday.

CTV Atlantic’s Chief Meteorologist Kalin Mitchell estimated Friday night that between 30 and 50 millimetres of rain fell over communities from Port Mouton all the way to Fall River.

But there were many areas that saw much larger rainfall totals, with Bedford, Timberlea and Sackville exceeding 200 millimetres in a matter of just seven hours.

The severe rainfall, along with strong bursts of thunder and lightning, caused flash flooding along some roadways, leaving cars and first responders alike in dangerous positions.

Mitchell noted Friday that the rainfall totals are “almost certainly” going to break records for a July 21, with the possibility of some areas setting new highs on any day on record in July.

Late Friday evening, hours after the worst of the system passed through central Nova Scotia, an emergency alert was issued for the Halifax Regional Municipality urging drivers to avoid roadways except in the event of an emergency.

By 11:30 p.m. on Friday night, more than 11,000 Nova Scotia Power customers remained in the dark,

The vast majority of outages occurred along the province’s south shore and in the HRM.

At 11:55 p.m. Friday, a flash flood alert was issued in Bedford and Sackville, with the province warning it’s unsafe for residents to be in the following areas:

  • Sackville Dr (Cobequid to Beaverbank)

  • Beaverbank to Glendale,

  • Hammonds Plains Road intersection at St Margaret’s Bay Road

  • 1600 block of St Margaret’s Bay Road

Comfort centres have opened at the Beaverbank Community Centre, as well as the East Dartmouth Community Centre.

Highway 103 in Gold River was closed overnight Friday between exits 9 and 10 due to flooding, according to RCMP.

Eastern Nova Scotia is expected to get between 40 and 80 millimetres of rain Saturday, with higher totals expected along coastal regions.

A release from the provincial government Friday night offered guidance for those impacted by flooding conditions:

  • Never cross flooded areas

  • Avoid rivers and streams

  • Don’t return home until it’s safe

  • Have a qualified electrician check your power

  • Disconnect power before entering a flooded basement

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kalin Mitchell

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