Elmsdale, N.S. legion and aquatic centre heavily damaged by flash flooding – Halifax |

Down the flight of stairs into the basement, you can’t see much. Power has been cut to the Royal Canadian Legion in Elmsdale, N.S., because the Legion is resting on roughly five inches of standing water.

Crews have been trying to drain the Legion since the weekend, when water filled the basement to the ceiling, essentially sinking the aging building.

While a pump has been trying to drain the murky water, the local fire department was able to get to a point where items could begin to be salvaged. The small pump is chugging away in a basement crammed with chairs, pool tables, and Christmas decorations, not to bits of the flood-damaged ceiling and drywall.

Ron Cooper of the Legion in Elmsdale has been working since the storm to clear out some of the water. While the Legion does have insurance, a string of floods has created an uncertain strain on the building.

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The aging unit has undergone floods in previous years, but Cooper said he isn’t so sure what’s next for the building, noting that a new building may not financially be in the cards for the Legion, which heavily relies on membership and events such as dances and bingos.

“The foundation (of the building), it’s older,” Cooper said, standing in water on Tuesday.

“It’s not in the best shape and when it gets a kick in the butt like this — where does that leave it? I don’t know.”

The Legion wasn’t the only building that was hit hard during the flooding.

The community’s aquatic centre is closed due to flooding in the basement of the pool.

“The basement is completely flooded, and that’s where all the mechanical equipment that runs the pool is stored,” said Eleanor Roulston, the East Hants Warden, on Tuesday.

“As of now, the pool is closed for an undermined amount of time.”

The $19-million pool was opened in 2020 and would usually be opened along with its splash pad counterpart.

Roulston said it’s too early to determine precisely how much damage the pool’s mechanical structure has faced, but she doesn’t expect it to be open in the interim.

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The damage was caused by heavy rain, which began Friday, and dumped between 200 and 250 millimetres along Nova Scotia’s South Shore, across the Halifax area and into central and western parts of the province, prompting massive floods in some areas.

Environment Canada says some parts of Nova Scotia may have received more than 300 mm of rain in 24 hours, based on radar estimates and unofficial observations.

In response to the severe flooding, a province-wide state of emergency was declared on Saturday and will remain in effect until Aug. 5.

— with files from Alex Cooke and Mitchell Bailey


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