Flash Flooding Ravages Bedford Street, Residents Demand Property Buyout


A walkthrough of the Oxford residence on Union Street in Bedford provides a startling glimpse into the extent of the deluge that transpired across July 21 and July 22. David Oxford speaks of water relentlessly pouring in under doors, spilling out from the patio entrance and even raining down his basement steps.

This street, concealed in the immediate vicinity of Bedford Place Mall, was virtually submerged in the sudden flash floods of those two fateful days. Resident Saba Al-Alam candidly recounts the harrowing night of the downpour where he narrowly escaped with his children.

“I was waist-deep in water while evacuating my house. I harbor lingering fears of such a disaster recurring,” laments Al-Alam. In response to the ensuing damage, some disgruntled homeowners are urging the province to acquire their properties, grounding their pleas in issues of safety. The Liberals too share this sentiment and are lending their voices to the cause.

Kelly Regan, the Liberal MLA representative for this afflicted area, argues that if the provincial government could buy homes in the aftermath of 2016 Sydney floods, then it needs to extend the same support to homeowners on Union Street. She emphasizes that residency in this area is not just marred by the recurring threat of floods but particularly for some, by their inability to insure their homes.

A case in point is Al-Alam, who bears the financial strain of a mortgage for a domicile that is currently unfit for habitation. He claims it was not merely a foot, but approximately seven feet of water that breached the confines of his home. “I should never return to this house. In fact, all the homes on this street should be considered a total loss,” he insists.

Conversely, David Oxford leans towards a more balanced stance. He discloses that given the options, he would give equal consideration to both, an offer for his property and the opportunity to refurbish his home. However, timing is crucial in light of any potential proposal.

His wife, Claudette Oxford, resonates her husband’s concerns, stating, “It would be regrettable to invest time and resources into repairs only to have the house purchased and demolished subsequently.”

David further argues the potential sum of the offer is equally significant. He contests, “If the government taxes me at $335,000 for my property, they should offer no less than that value. Especially considering residences in the neighborhood have sold for as much as $550,000.”

Krista Higdon, a spokesperson for the Department of Municipal Affairs and Housing, counters these expectations, stating that any decision to buy the damaged properties hinges upon an exhaustive analysis of both current damages and potential future risk factors. She adds, “It is anticipated that in times to come, flood insurance will be more accessible to homeowners in Nova Scotia.”

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Melinda Cochrane is a poet, teacher and fiction author. She is also the editor and publisher of The Inspired Heart, a collection of international writers. Melinda also runs a publishing company, Melinda Cochrane International books for aspiring writers, based out Montreal, Quebec. Her publication credits include: The art of poetic inquiry, (Backalong Books), a novella, Desperate Freedom, (Brian Wrixon Books Canada), and 2 collections of poetry; The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat, (Backalong Books), and She’s an Island Poet, Desperate Freedom was on the bestseller's list for one week, and The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat is one of hope and encouragement for all those living in the social welfare system. She’s been published in online magazines such as, (regular writer for) ‘Life as a Human’, and Shannon Grissom’s magazine.


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