Washed-out sections of the RTC near Port aux Basques will begin to reopen to traffic on Monday


Some damaged roads on the southwest coast of Newfoundland will reopen soon as work continues to repair damage and help those in need after heavy rains swept through the area earlier this week.

Premier Andrew Furey said crews were meeting the initial one-week deadline for clean-up and repairs.

He expects a washout east of Channel-Port aux Basques to be repaired “within the next 24 to 48 hours.”

“This will re-establish medical appointments for them and then hopefully as the week progresses the one closer to Port aux Basques will be re-established,” Furey said on Sunday. Rosemary Barton live.

Premier Furey speaks with CBC’s David Cochrane during a broadcast of Rosemary Barton Live on Sunday, November 28. The Premier provided an update on repairs on the rain-ravaged west coast of Newfoundland and stressed the need to mitigate future disasters. (Rosemary Barton Live / CBC)

The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure released a statement Sunday morning saying two of the four areas of the Trans-Canada Highway that were washed away during the storm will reopen Monday, with traffic reduced to one lane in some areas.

The Ministry anticipates that areas near the Port aux Basques scales and Little Paradise Park will reopen mid-week.

Furey said the flow of goods and supplies to Channel-Port aux Basques continues and military personnel are on the ground in Stephenville to help transport residents out of isolated areas by helicopter.

A spokesperson for the Canadian Armed Forces told CBC News on Sunday that two CH-146 Griffon helicopters and 18 members of the helicopter detachment have arrived in Stephenville. Work is still underway to determine whether ground forces will be needed, the spokesperson said.

A Canadian Coast Guard helicopter flew to Port aux Basques on Sunday to deliver medical supplies and equipment. (Submitted by the Canadian Coast Guard)

A Coast Guard helicopter also carried around 180 kilograms of medical supplies from Stephenville to Port aux Basques late Sunday morning. The helicopter also delivered more than 540 kg of fresh milk to St. Andrew’s in the Codroy Valley later that day, the coast guard said.

Paul Veber, Canadian Coast Guard Regional Operations Center Superintendent for Atlantic Canada, says crews delivered supplies and food as needed with the Bell 412 helicopter, the most capable helicopter in their fleet.

“We are able to multitask and reallocate resources across the Atlantic region as needed, and once we receive a request for assistance through Public Safety [Canada], we will allocate all the resources we can, ”said Veber.

“We’re right there now to provide all the help we can.”

Furey said residents of the west coast of Newfoundland are “well versed and prepared for storms,” ​​but said damage in the area illustrates the need for strategies to mitigate coastal erosion.

“We will never be completely ahead of Mother Nature,” he said.

“This is not how it works. We need to work with municipalities… and our federal partners to ensure that, in particular, coastal communities are well protected.”

Two of the four damaged sections of the Trans-Canada Highway are expected to reopen Monday. (Héloïse Rodriguez-Qizilbash / Radio-Canada)

“A good idea” to prepare for future storms

Bob Robichaud, a warning preparedness meteorologist at the Canadian Hurricane Center, says powerful systems like the one that soaked Atlantic Canada in record amounts of precipitation over 300 millimeters are no longer as rare as they once were.

“It hasn’t been that long since this same kind of setup caused problems before,” he said, “so it seems to be happening more and with a warmer atmosphere.”

Robichaud said that despite being in the meteorological field for “a number of years now” he had never seen amounts of precipitation like that seen this week in Nova Scotia and on Earth. New.

He said even though conditions this week “were perfectly aligned” for a major weather event, residents should be prepared for similar events in the future.

“There’s always that possibility that you might be isolated for a while, so it would be a good idea to sort of prepare yourself,” Robichaud said.

More rain is already on its way to the southwest coast of Newfoundland, with Environment Canada issuing a special weather report on Sunday forecasting around 50mm of rain, starting Monday evening.

Read more about CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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