Mayor Jim Cashin believes that taking quick action on Saturday morning in the face of flooding in his town probably saved a whole lot of damage to infrastructure in Port au Port East.
After an assessment of the rising water by Daren Benoit, their maintenance/water operator, Cashin had their snow clearing operator Glenn McCann get a piece of equipment in to start clearing ditches.
He said in the interest of safety for residents they felt the best idea was to close the road to traffic while this work was being done from the Secret Cove Brewing Company building (formerly Viking Lounge) to the intersection with Romain’s Road.
McCann’s piece of equipment was joined by two pieces of equipment provided by Transportation and Works, which is responsible for the road, with the total closure of the road only about 45 minutes.
Members of the Port au Port Regional Fire Department came in to provide traffic control.
Cashin said he thinks the quick action may have saved parts of the main road going through the town from washing out and water possibly ending in the basements of residents.
He said he feels for the people of Benoit’s Cove and other areas that got hit a lot worse than his town did.
Flooding damage was minimal in Stephenville, with just some maintenance needed to be done once the water goes down.
Town Manager Mike Campbell said a section of Massachusetts Drive had to be closed due to the flooding and some water had breached Warm Brook’s bank and got into the parking lot of Appalachia Distributing.
He said the banks of both Warm Creek and Blanche Brook that were done after the 2005 flood held up really well despite an awful lot of water coming down the brook during the rain storm.
Lorraine Gaudet, a weather observer at Stephenville airport, said during a 24-hour period from 2:30 p.m. on Friday to the same time on Saturday there was 45.5 mm of rain recorded at the airport and a high temperature of 9.3 degrees.
She said this recording is rain that fell at their location and of course doesn’t include runoff.
Work was still being carried out in the community Noel’s Pond on Sunday at noon with the road still closed to traffic.
The usual problem of flooding and water going over the road took place at the location once again.
On Saturday the Department of Transportation and Works was advising people to stay off the roads in Port au Mal and Fox Island River; however, an excavator was dispatched to the area in the afternoon.
Route 463 between Mainland and Cape St. George was also closed due to a washout, but was re-opened Sunday.
In the Heatherton area on Route 404 the road was reported closed due to a washout out at Rattling Brook and will remain closed indefinitely.