Trout River’s Main Street destined for destruction by Diane Crocker, Feb. 12, 2023, Saltwire
TROUT RIVER — Residents and business owners in Trout River are concerned that their town could become another Port aux Basques if something isn’t done to prevent the ocean from coming in and sweeping out Main Street.
Kayla Brake, the owner of Gros Morne Beach House, is acting as a spokesperson for those concerned with what’s happening.
She told SaltWire Network that much of the boardwalk that runs along the beach has been heavily damaged this winter by waves crashing over it and those waves have even gotten up to the road.
It’s something Brake said they know is going to happen because it happens every winter and it happens every fall and spring when the town gets wind from hurricanes. It’s just gotten worse over the last few years.
“So, it just seems like we’re waiting for a Port aux Basques incident to happen. We know it’s going to happen. When, we don’t know, but we certainly do know that this is going to happen.”
Brake said that armour stone placed along the beach to stop the waves and prevent damage to the boardwalk has not done the job it was expected to.Never underestimate the power of nature, especially when she’s pissed at us for our callous greed and idiocy.
“Our beach is now on an angle, so this is basically the reason why we’ve seen a lot more damage in the past few years because essentially what we’ve created is a ramp.”
The armour stone gets washed out, the ground around the boardwalk gets washed out and the boardwalk is left with no protection from the waves that are getting stronger and extending their reach.
“We need to break those waves before they even get to our shore. What we need is a breakwater, that’s the answer,” said Brake.Humans need to accept that we are no match for nature, especially nature violently contaminated by our greed.
Unfortunately, that costs millions of dollars and the town has not been able to access the funding to do it.
Brake knows that getting funding can’t happen with the “click of the finger” but said there has to be some sort of disaster relief fund that could provide the money.
“We need to work on it. It needs to be a priority for government. It needs to be a priority for our council and for our residents here. It needs to be a priority.”
She’s hoping that with people joining together and speaking out that will happen because the future looks bleak if something is not done.
“It’s certainly going to be terrible at some point and people are going to lose their homes. They’re going to lose their businesses and possibly their lives.”Why is new construction going on too close to the climate change induced climbing sea?
Coming back from that would not be easy
“So, it’s either put the money into it now and stop it or put the money into it after the fact when people have lost their lives, have lost their business, have lost their homes,” said Brake.
Natalia Crocker is the deputy mayor of Trout River, and she said undertaking fixing the problem on its own is just too costly for the town which struggles with dealing with aging infrastructure.
Finding the funding elsewhere has not panned out.
Crocker said the town has been told the scope of the problem is just too big and there are a lot of communities that are on the oceanfront that need these types of services and there is just not enough government money to go around to help.
“It’s either putting money into it, finding grants for it or it’s leaving them to their own devices and just waiting for the waves to take everybody away.
“That’s basically what it all boils down to,” said Crocker.
But the town is not giving up and is continuing to apply for disaster funding.
Like Brake, Crocker believes the issue needs to be a priority for the government.
“If they don’t start helping and fixing things there is going to be no town.”The town needs to take care of itself, and move the hell back and up.
Main Street is the town’s business centre, its only commercial area with accommodations, stores and food establishments and it’s where the town’s museum, the Jacob A. Crocker Heritage House, is located.
Crocker said it’s scary to just watch and wait for all that to be devastated.
“When everything happened in Port aux Basques, we thought that it was going to happen here first,” she said.
“There are ways to protect the waterfront that don’t have anything to do with creating a berm or a marina out in the ocean.”
Something as simple as installing a wall with a curved top instead of just going straight up.
Whatever it is, Crocker said erosion studies must be considered and the question asked is it worth putting something back there if it’s going to be washed away.
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