HALIFAX: Despite repeated flooding on a Richmond County road, the province is unable to provide a timeline for repairs.
According to a press release issued by Cape Breton-Richmond MLA Alana Paon, John and Marilyn Clements of New Victoria were left stranded on April 29 after their car was totally submerged on the Loch Lomond Road.
“We were travelling very slowly, we were taking our time because we knew there were potholes,” Marilyn Clements recalled. “Suddenly, the front of our car dipped in and water started to come up over the hood. My husband was quick to act and opened the windows before it was too late. It started to submerge so fast; everything just happened so fast. I don’t even remember unbuckling my seatbelt.”
In the press release issued on May 2, Paon said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, Lloyd Hines, must address long standing flooding issues on the road.
Paon said what happened to the Clements is completely unacceptable and terrifying.
“What the Clements experienced is horrific and could have ended in a tragedy,” Paon said in the release. “They are fortunate to have been able to escape.”
This is the second time Paon has asked the minister to address the flooding issues on the Loch Lomond Road. In March, the road flooded leaving a Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (DTIR) truck and employees immersed in water.
“In March, I asked minister Hines if his department would take immediate action to avoid further dangerous circumstances from occurring,” the PC MLA recalled. “No action has yet been taken. It’s time for minister Hines to resolve this serious issue before someone is injured or loses their life.”
Paon also noted there is no cell phone service in that area.
“No part of our province should be without cellular phone service,” says Paon. “I’m concerned for the safety of residents, as well as, visitors to the area. We’re entering into tourist season and something needs to be done before we have higher volumes of traffic in the area.”
According to DTIR spokesperson Marla MacInnis, flooding on the Loch Lomond Road has been attributed to a collapsed culvert owned by the Department of Natural Resources.
“As we work to find a solution, there are environmental factors that need to be taken into consideration, for example, issues with tailings,” MacInnis said. “Environmental engineers at the Department of Environment are actively working with [the DTIR] and the Department of Natural Resources to find both a temporary and permanent solution for this area.”
MacInnis added that the department does not have a timeline on when repairs will be made, but they have erected signs warning of flood conditions and are encouraging only local traffic to use the road.
“This is a complex project that we will continue to work diligently and collaboratively on to ensure it is done right,” she noted. “Until the best course of action has been determined, we do not have a timeline to share and expect flood conditions to continue.”