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Flood cleanup: Parts of Newfoundland still inaccessible

Leeanna McLean
Digital Reporter

Monday, January 15, 2018, 5:48 PM - Heavy rain inundated Corner Brook, N.L., this past weekend, with flood damage estimated to be in the millions, according to mayor Jim Parsons.

A state of emergency was declared on behalf of the mayor on Saturday as rapid snow melt and heavy downpours washed out roads and overwhelmed the municipal drainage system. It remained in effect until Sunday afternoon, when it was officially lifted.

"The flooding has stopped completely at this point, which is great," Parsons told The Weather Network Monday afternoon. "We are getting our public works depot cleaned up now."

City staff were forced to close off part of the depot Saturday as flooding caused significant damage to the building.

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"Crews were able to get a lot done yesterday [Sunday]," he said. "They were able to make temporary repairs to the roads."

There are parts of the south shore of the Bay of Islands that are still inaccessible, according to Parsons.

"They are going to begin some helicopter flights for particular priority people," he noted. "The Trans-Canada Highway is now open on the east side of Corner Brook, which is good. The north shore is OK, but there are a few problem areas on the south shore of the Bay of Islands, that's the main problem right now."

Contractors have stepped in to help Corner Brook's Public Works Department. Damage to private property is minimal, however, a few people were evacuated Saturday as a precautionary measure, according to the mayor.

WATCH BELOW: Corner Brook, NL mayor explains when and why a state of emergency is put in place

The cost of damage "will be in the millions for sure," Parsons said earlier on Sunday. "We have significant road damage. We're going to have to replace a lot of storm sewers, infrastructure, a lot of asphalt, rebuild some roadways and of course the depot, that's the big question mark now," he added.

The timing and severity of this flooding event is notable as Corner Brook typically experiences runoff issues in the spring.

"We just ironically announced a number of plans to work on a climate change related asset management. This really underscores the need for that kind of thing."

For a list of affected areas and road closures residents are asked to visit the city's official website.

Traffic was at a stand still near the village of Little Rapids Saturday, with sections of the Trans-Canada Highway washed out.

Meanwhile, officials in the town of Sussex, N.B., urged residents to evacuate their homes due to flood conditions. An emergency shelter was set up at Kingswood University as a result.

New Brunswick's Emergency Measures Organization issued a flood warning Saturday morning for residents living along Trout Creek, as well as the Kennebecasis and Canaan Rivers.

Environment Canada dropped all rainfall warnings across the Maritimes and Newfoundland on Sunday, but now, forecasters are watching an incoming system that's set to have a much more wintry impact on the region. Snow and freezing rain could have a significant impact on commute times Tuesday. 

WATCH BELOW:Severe flooding in Musquash, New Brunswick forces residents from their homes

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