Getting Tired Of Writing “We’re Fine …” Posts, But, Once Again, We’re Fine
July 23, 2023 by Dave Haynes
When we moved to Nova Scotia five years ago, the only evident peril was from what are all called Nor’Easters – storms that run up the eastern seaboard and dump snow (usually) on Atlantic Canada. Anyone in New England knows about Nor’Easters.
I’m Canadian, so big snows are no fun, but a big yawn. I have a snowblower, and most of those storms tend to bypass Nova Scotia and head for New Brunswick and PEI, next door.
However, the emails and social media messages are coming, in volume, today, asking once again if all is fine after the third big, bad natural disaster around here in 10 months. First it was a Cat 2 Hurricane last fall. Then a wildfire that took out 151 homes just down the highway from us. And then Friday night, an insane, straight-line storm that dumped almost 10 inches of rain on our place in a few hours, and 10.5 on my daughter’s house about an hour away.
We’re fine. She’s fine. But it was nuts.
Our house is on a slab (no basement) because where we live is all granite, so if you want a basement, you break rock or blast. We were at no risk of flooding, and while there was some ponding, it was no biggie. Power went out, but that happens to everyone, everywhere, now and then.
But our daughter called us around 8 Friday evening and said there was water coming in to her basement. Not much, but some. The weather was far too crazy to drive, so we said we’d be down in the morning to help clean up.
She FaceTimed me again at about 11, looking panicked and lost. So while my wife slept, having taken a pill so she COULD sleep and not toss and turn with worry, I packed up and headed out.
Craziest drive of my life. Hand’s down. Rain so hard the wipers couldn’t keep up. Lightning like a fireworks festival. And an interstate-level four lane highway that was in the process of washing out in several spots. I drove through at least four impromptu rivers in the dark, and around downed trees, but I made it. The smart thing was staying home, but any parent will understand me going.
One washed-out section I managed to dodge in the dark. No traffic cones that night.
Image credit: Jean Laroche/CBC
I told the kids to go to bed, as my 19-month-old grandson would have them up and ready for non-stop fun by 6 am. They had about a quarter-inch of rain in the basement and more seeping in through a walkout basement door and stairwell that was collecting water like a pool because the rain gutters couldn’t keep up. So I spent two or three hours in the rain, in that stairwell, running a pool pump that also couldn’t keep up, and scooping out and tossing water with an office trash bin.
The rain finally subsided around 4:30 and I was able to get back inside and use a wet vac to suck up any more seepage. Eventually, my litle pool pump started winning.
Turns out they got 10 1/2 inches of rain in about eight hours. Abso-freaking nutty levels.
I drove home once it started getting light, and the major highway I came in was closed because of all the damage I apparently managed to manoeuvre around on the way down, in the dark. I took what’s called the Lighthouse Route back home, and still beautiful coastal vistas were interspersed with scenes of raging rivers overtopping roads (but passable), wiped-out, washed-away infrastructure, and swamped seaside homes. Good Lord!
Hat tip to the first responders and utilities people who’ve had a rough year with all this. And positive thoughts to all those MUCH MUCH more affected than us. There are four people missing, caught in vehicles that strayed near flash floods.
Thanks for the notes and concern. It’s kind and much appreciated. Hopefully, this is the last time I write up one of these things! It’s lovely here. It really is.