Emergency personnel overseeing evacuation at RayPort Campground
Flooding has prompted a mandatory evacuation order for Shingle Mill Road north of Highway 103, which includes around 250 to 300 people staying at RayPort Campground, says the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg.
The campground is located at 161 and 165 Shingle Mill Rd. in the community of Martins River, near Mahone Bay.
According to District of Lunenburg Mayor Carolyn Bolivar-Getson, the municipality received a request for assistance from the owners of the campground on Sunday evening, and moved to co-ordinate a response with the Department of Transportation and Public Works.
The only route out of the campground on Shingle Mill Road is currently washed out because of flooding from Martins River and is unsafe to traverse, said Bolivar-Getson.
“We have secured an alternative route … to safely evacuate campers onto the 103 highway at this time,” she said.
A state of emergency has also been declared by the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg.
Emergency officials are leading the evacuation, which was announced via an emergency alert at around 12:20 p.m. local time on Monday.
“Campers are asked to remain calm and follow the instructions of emergency personnel,” the municipality said in a news release.
A second emergency alert, announcing a mandatory evacuation for all of Shingle Mill Road north of Highway 103, was issued just after 4:20 p.m. Monday.
Everett Powell is a seasonal resident of the campground.
He was able to get out through a back route onto Highway 103, he said, after people worked with chainsaws and tractors to clear a path on the weekend. But he wasn’t able to get back into the campground from work on Monday before the evacuation was ordered.
His RV, which has two cats inside, remains at RayPort.
“We just want to go in and get our trailer and everything, and find somewhere else to go with it,” Powell said.
He’s been told to wait a few hours, and is hopeful he’ll be able to go back in to get his trailer at that point, he said.
‘Our hands are tied’
Earlier Monday, Dave Eisnor, who helps run the campground with his family, warned campers on Facebook that an evacuation was imminent and urged them to bring any necessary medications with them when they leave.
“We feel so bad for everyone, but our hands are tied,” he wrote.
Evacuees are asked to return to their homes or shelter with friends and family if possible. Those who need overnight shelter are being told to register in person at the Blockhouse Fire Hall at 510 Highway 325, near Exit 11 of Highway 103.
More information will be shared on the municipality’s Facebook page and the website for the Lunenburg County Regional Emergency Management Organization as it becomes available, the release said.
RayPort Campground is located alongside Martins River, and includes 28 overnight sites and 58 seasonal ones, according to the website for Tourism Nova Scotia.