Flood waters continue to rise in Oxford

Christopher Gooding
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OXFORD - Rising water in the Town of Oxford along the River Phillip and Black River is causing headaches for homeowners and motorists as basements become flooded and roadways become submerged as the two converging waters swell with last night's rain.
Water Street is closed and a four-person disaster response team is en route as the waters of the Black River and River Phillip continue to rise. Meanwhile homeowners in the immediate area are contending with flooded basements.
"My basement is flooded," Oxford student Braydon Mattinson said joining a small group of curious onlookers on Water St. "My dad when down stairs and was like 'Holy.'"
Schools in the area are closed as are a majority of the Water St. businesses that neighbour the site. George Mosher, proprietor of GJDE Enterprises, was among the few still open.
"I've been here 34 years and I've rarely closed," Mosher said. "We'll stay open unless it becomes a catastrophe."
In preparation for the worse Red Cross volunteers will set up a temporary shelter in case evacuations are needed due to flooding.
The Town of Oxford has also mobilized components of its Emergency Response Plan and is stressing residents strictly observe the road closures.
The RCMP are dispatching a 12-foot aluminum boat from the Amherst Detachment.
"No-one has been evacuated as of yet, but the potential for flash flooding is high and we're responding to a request for support from the Emergency Measures co-ordinator for Cumberland County to have something in place as a precaution," explained Joanne Lawlor, manager of disaster services for Nova Scotia with the Canadian Red Cross.
The local Red Cross comfort centre will be located at the local Oxford Lions Club and is expected to be operational by 2 p.m.
The team, along with a vehicle and trailer loaded with cots, blankets and personal comfort items for a shelter have been deployed from the Canadian Red Cross office in Amherst.
They're equipped initially to host up to 20 people. Additional materials and volunteers can be dispatched from Amherst, Truro and other Red Cross centres in Nova Scotia should the need arise.
Lawlor said every household needs to be prepared for emergencies including evacuations. Tips from the Red Cross on how to plan and prepare for disasters is available online at www.redcross.ca/prepare.
The Environment Canada weather station is reporting that it received 42.3 millimetres of rain yesterday.
Today's forecast is calling for freezing drizzle ending this afternoon and falling temperatures.
Oxford is located about 35 kilometres south of Amherst along the Trans Canada Highway and aside from flooding is know as Canada's Blueberry Capital.

Organizations: Red Cross, RCMP, Oxford Lions Club Environment Canada

Geographic location: Oxford, River Phillip, Black River Water Street Amherst Nova Scotia Cumberland County Canada

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