A car sits in sea water up to it’s wheel wells at a tourist bureau in Liverpool, Nova Scotia on Saturday March 3, 2018. After another weekend of storm surges battering Nova Scotia’s south shore, there’re rising concerns from some municipal politicians and citizens about the need for help adapting to climate change. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Ken Veinot

Growing storm surges cause concern in Nova Scotia

A Nova Scotia mayor is calling for provincial help to cope with the rising impact of climate change on waterfronts

Another weekend of storm surges in Nova Scotia has a south shore mayor calling for provincial help to cope with the rising impact of climate change on waterfronts.

The mayor of the Region of Queens Municipality said Liverpool’s waterfront parking lot and a nearby street are being flooded more often, and intensifying surges of sea water are creeping into local businesses.

David Dagley, 66, says water has been about a third of a metre above normal levels in recent flooding, causing temporary closures and repeated cleanups of businesses and shops along Water Street in Liverpool.

He said in the 1970s the routine was one storm surge a year, but there have been three events just since Christmas.

“As far as the flooding in the downtown of Liverpool, it’s an issue we’ve had some internal conversations on, and it’s a work in progress … funding is a primary concern at this point,” he said in an interview.

The mayor said with the small municipality operating on a $19-million budget and possible costs to keep the waters back exceeding $1 million, his community needs help from other levels of government.

“We have some research to do, and we need to secure some funding,” he said.

RELATED: Intense storm pummels Atlantic Canada

Linda Smith, the 45-year-old owner of Memories Café on the Liverpool waterfront, said the cleanups have become an exhausting routine for her restaurant since she bought it six years ago.

“Over time we’re going to suffer irreparable damage. The salt water comes right into our restaurant and travels through my entire dining room,” she said.

“Depending on how quickly I can get in after the flooding starts, my table, my shelving, my counter where I serve customers all get soaked in salt water … We rush in, clean up and get back to business, but over time it will become something devastating to my small business.”

Meanwhile, seven kilometres south of Liverpool, powerful waves have been battering a coastal causeway at Western Head.

Kenny Veinot, an amateur photographer, took photos of cement blocks being blown down as the waves break crash through a barrier.

“The issue was the Transport Department didn’t put a foundation under it (the breakwater). It’s on the existing beach rocks … About two years ago the blocks started to fall,” he said.

Jason Hollett, the executive director of the climate change division of the Environment Department, said in an interview that most research indicates increasing frequency and intensity of storm surges.

“What we can expect in the future is to expect an increase in the frequency and potentially an increase in the intensity as well,” he added.

RELATED: Atlantic Canada to be hit by back-to-back storms

The storm surges are being accompanied with sea-level rise, with the International Panel of Climate Change now expecting an average rise of one metre over the next 80 to 100 years off Canada’s East Coast, said Hollett.

Dagley said his community has made it known to the province’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal that the protective barrier along the Western Head causeway needs stabilizing.

“I would anticipate if measures are not taken by the department of transport, the sea will eventually breach the road, as it has several years ago,” he said.

The storm surge was also causing closures of the coastal Highway 207 just east of Halifax near Lawrencetown beach over the weekend and on Monday.

– Story by Michael Tutton in Halifax.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

More seniors in Terrace area struggling to afford food

The number of adults who used the Terrace Churches Food Bank jumped by 70 per cent from last year.

Terrace Peewees win provincials

The Midgets won bronze and Bantams finished fifth, with the female Midgets still playing

Bigger and safer bridge to be built across the Nass

New two lane bridge will accomodate heavier commercial vehicles

B.C. NDP offers tax breaks to jumpstart LNG Canada in Kitimat

‘We’re not giving away more money,’ Premier John Horgan says

UPDATE: Snowfall warning ended for Hwy 16 – Smithers to Terrace

Cloudy, warmer rain showers are expected to change to snow after midnight.

Vancouver Aquarium’s resident octopus released into ocean

Staff let the Giant Pacific octopus go into the waters near Bowen Island so she can reproduce

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond wins figure skating world title

The 22-year-old fwon the women’s singles crown with her Black Swan routine

B.C. pooches celebrate National Puppy Day

Check out some of the submissions from around B.C. for National Puppy Day 2018

Alberta tells B.C. to stop opposing pipelines if it doesn’t like gas prices

John Horgan said he would like to see the federal government step in to deal with high gas prices.

B.C. mother hit in truck rampage dies

Family confirms mother of four Kelly Sandoval dies almost two months after being hit.

Walking from Argentina to Alaska

Holly ‘Cargo’ Harrison is now in northern B.C. on his journey from Argentina to Alaska.

PHOTOS: Students exhibit stunning paper couture dresses

22 paper made gowns will be on display at Vancouver’s Oakridge Centre until March 27

Fatal crash closes Highway 97 south of Prince George

A two-vehicle crash in the Cariboo has claimed the life of one person and sent another to hospital.

Most Read