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

Summer comes early in the Fraser Valley

Record temperatures in Chilliwack before the season arrives elicit warnings

It may be ‘lights, camera, action!’ for talented Chilliwack doctor

Rob Forde is waiting to hear if he’ll become The Basement Doctor in his own reality show

B.C. turns up the heat

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for most the province due to high temperatures

UPDATE: Minor injuries in rollover crash that closed Sea-to-Sky

Hwy. 99 not expected to re-open until 2:30 p.m.

Fraser Valley about to heat up

Temperatures to climb into the low 30s next week

Homeless people living on ‘Surrey Strip’ move into modular housing

BC Housing says 160 homeless people are being moved into temporary Whalley suites from June 19 to 21

B.C. RCMP looking for $70,000 in stolen collector cash

Money, in Canadian and Chinese denominations, goes missing in Chilliwack

Port of Prince Rupert names Shaun Stevenson as new CEO

Stevenson has worked for the port for 21 years as vice president of trade development

Senate officially passes Canada’s marijuana legalization bill

Bill C-45 now moves to royal assent, which is the final step in the legislative process

Mosquitoes out in full force already? Blame the weather

But a B.C. mosquito expert says the heat wave will help keep the pests at bay

Man pleads not guilty in 1987 slayings of B.C. couple

William Talbott of SeaTac was arraigned Tuesday in Snohomish County Superior Court

New GOP plan: Hold kids longer at border – but with parents

Move would ease rules that limit how much time minors can be held with their parents

Without a big data strategy, Canadians at risk of being ‘data cows’

Presentation said artificial intelligence could give Facebook and Amazon even more power

Five B.C. families stuck in Japan as Canada refuses visas for adopted babies

Lawyer points to change in American policy around adoptions from Japan

Most Read