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Heavy rain causes Cabot Trail washout near Ingonish

Friday, August 19th 2022, 8:00 am - Road blocked between Ingonish and Neils Harbour

A section of the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton, N.S., is closed after heavy rain caused a washout at a culvert construction detour site.

Work is now underway to fix the damage near Black Brook Cove Beach between Ingonish and Neils Harbour. Jersey barriers at the work site were submerged.

"They were completely under water and it was probably 60 to 70 feet across," said Robie Gourd, asset manager for Parks Canada's Cape Breton field unit. "So it was a long flood that washed out that bypass road."

The road was heavily damaged by flooding back in November. Work had just begun on a larger culvert system that is being put in place.

A Parks Canada road crew is on site completing a full assessment along the South Mountain roadway. Motorists in the area could expect lengthy delays as the road closure will remain in place until the route is re-established and conditions are deemed safe.

heavy-rain-causes-cabot-trail-washout-near-ingonish-image-2 A full assessment of the roadway will need to be completed before the road can be reopened. (Parks Canada)

Work crews who were in the area returned to the site overnight to check on it and that's when they discovered the water flowing over the barriers.

"The fact we are already mobilized to do construction work in the same area there is helping us expedite the repair because we are still repairing from the previous storm," said Gourd.

Ingonish saw 90 millimetres of rain fall. The heaviest rain came around 1:30 a.m., when the weather station in Neils Harbour recorded a rainfall rate of up to 124 millimetres per hour.

Gourd says crews will work through the night if needed until the road is reopened.

This article, written by Paul Palmeter, was originally published for CBC News.

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