Nova Scotia

‘The Cape Breton way’: When windows started busting, apartment residents banded together

Bedi Singh was in his Sydney, N.S., apartment early Sunday afternoon with his girlfriend playing video games when a day of boredom was suddenly interrupted.

Between the snow accumulating outside of his ground-floor unit and the snow coming down from the building’s roof, the pressure on windows in his unit was so intense that they started bursting.

“I was just on my bed and it fall down and boom, the living room [window] went down, my room window gone. Then 10 minutes later boom, another gone. Then 10 minutes later boom, another gone,” said Singh.

Downtown Sydney was pummelled with 150 centimetres of snow during the winter storm that hit Nova Scotia this weekend. The Cape Breton Regional Municipality is under a local state of emergency.

Singh said the snow almost reached the second-floor units at his building. He gathered up about a dozen of the Rotary Drive building’s residents and they went outside to shovel in front of other ground-floor units to prevent more windows from bursting.

Singh says he and his girlfriend were playing video games in his bedroom when the snow came bursting in. (Bedi Singh/Facebook)

He and the others also covered around a half-dozen broken windows with plywood.

“It was just all people that lived in there, help each other, like, the Cape Breton way,” he said.

At Michael Ludlow’s home in Broughton, Cape Breton, the roof on one of his barns collapsed from the overwhelming amount of snow. He estimated there was two metres of snow on the steel roof.

“I got that much snow,” he told CBC’s Information Morning Cape Breton. “I don’t know what to do.”

A Sydney, N.S., apartment building is shown with large amounts of snow outside of it. The snow almost reaches the second floor of the building.
Singh says the snow was so deep it came close to the second-floor units at his apartment building. (Bedi Singh/Facebook)

Ludlow said he has a backhoe on his property and there is so much snow that he can barely see it.

The 72-year-old said he’s seen a lot of snow in his day, but nothing like this. He’s also worried about the snow on the roof of his home, some of which tumbled off this weekend.

“It was just like an avalanche,” he said. “You wouldn’t believe it. Two o’clock in the morning, me and the wife jumped out of bed. I didn’t know what the hell happened.”

A man stands between a barn and a 4 metre snow bank.
Kent Peters of Dream Stables in Albert Bridge, Cape Breton, is shown clearing snow from the riding facility’s barn roof on Sunday. Peters and his wife, Deanna Peters, have been caring for 38 horses. (Joe Pembroke)

Kent and Deanna Peters of Albert Bridge, Cape Breton, run a stable with 38 horses. One snowdrift reached seven metres and they spent nine hours Sunday shovelling a path beside the barn.

Their horses aren’t used to being cooped up, so the couple have been busy rotating them in and out of the barn.

Kent worked from the roof, while Deanna shovelled from the ground.

“I’m gonna have rock-solid abs from this,” Kent told CBC’s News Network. “It’s fantastic.”

‘Stay home’ says Cape Breton, N.S., mayor after storm

Amanda McDougall, mayor of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, is urging people to stay off the roads, saying the cleanup from a heavy winter storm is going to take time.


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