Sydney flooding

With Hurricane Florence barreling across the eastern seaboard of the United States causing devastating destruction it has reminded people in Cape Breton of the awful memories from the Thanksgiving Day storm of 2016.  

“We understand what they’re going through,” said Walter Doue. “We understand the anxiety of it coming to land and now that it’s there and the devastation it’s caused, we understand.”

Nearly two years ago, Sydney received more than 220 millimetres of rain in less than 24 hours.

Dozens of homes were flooded and have since been demolished. But the scars of that storm still remain.

“I felt devastated because of what I lost,” said Felicia Abbass. “You can’t get back the children’s report cards. You can’t back photos, any of that. Clothes can be replaced, buildings can be replaced, but those memories you are never going to be able to replace.”

Doue understands Florence is a much bigger storm and is having a greater impact on a larger area, but he says there was enough damage done in 2016 that residents here can relate.

“You do get PTSD,” Doue said. “I made a joke of it and talked to my doctor about it. He said it’s not a joke, it’s real. He said definitely it’s real.”

Temperatures in Sydney rose to the low 20s by mid-afternoon on Friday, and if you factored in the humidex it felt much warmer. The reason? Florence was pushing warm air into our region.

People here are not off the hook just yet as remnants of the storm are expected by mid-week.

People in Cape Breton will be watching the weather and hoping it will stay well out to sea to avoid a repeat.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore.





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