ELLERSHOUSE, N.S. –The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal’s to-do list in Hants County is longer than usual these days following a severe downpour that caused a substantial amount of damage throughout the region.
The provincial department has been kept busy repairing the damage done in the area following an unusually powerful rainstorm that washed out roads, culverts and bridges.
For Paul Faulkenham, the week following the storm proved stressful - to say the least. The Ellershouse resident’s driveway was washed out as a result of the torrential downpour.
And it stayed that way for seven days.
“I have a heart condition, I had a triple bypass some years ago, and I don’t have any problems today, but what if I did tomorrow? The ambulance wouldn’t come in here – it’s too heavy to cross,” said Faulkenham as a small stream trickled over the end of his driveway Aug. 14.
The driveway and another culvert further up the street were fixed that day, but it highlights just how extensive the flash flooding damage was.
Faulkenham said he first noticed something was wrong on Aug. 7, the day of the storm, when his girlfriend’s son and neighbour said they’d definitely have issues getting out of their driveway as water spilled over the top.
“We could hear the rocks rumbling down and underneath the culvert. It was amazing,” he said. “It’s no longer raining, but the creek still has to run. Now it’s running over our driveway.”
“It was really a raging river, instead of a little stream.”
Read More: West Hants communities hit hard by storm
A portion of the driveway is owned by the Department of Transportation as it also functions as a service road for Highway 101 and a potential logging road.
Faulkenham’s home sits further up the driveway.
Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal media relations staffer Marla MacInnis said the storm was quite severe, adding that they appreciate residents’ patience as they continue to address the damage.
“Provincial infrastructure in Hants County experienced considerable damage ranging from small isolated shoulder washouts, to culverts being filled with debris and buried,” MacInnis said. “Additionally, a bridge on Trunk 1 experienced erosion at the abutments and had to be closed temporarily until it could be inspected and repaired.”
MacInnis said the storm was unique because it was isolated to a small area with heavy intensity.
Personnel and equipment from neighbouring areas were dispatched to help with the cleanup and repair work.
"As we repair and replace culverts, the pipes are being upsized to account for greater storm intensities,” she said.