Four people were missing on Saturday after torrential flooding swept through Nova Scotia, Canada, forcing many residents to evacuate their homes, while others had to be rescued by boat, officials said.
The four people were reported missing early on Saturday morning in West Hants, about 50 miles northwest of Halifax, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said in a statement.
Two were children, between the ages of 2 and 12, who were traveling in a vehicle that became submerged, the police said. Three other people in the car with them were able to escape, the police said.
Separately, a teenager and another man were missing after a vehicle they were in became submerged on a flooded road. Two others traveling with them were rescued, the police said.
Searches are continuing. Law enforcement authorities asked members of the public not to try to search for those missing because of the dangerous conditions.
Several rescue crews were deployed throughout the province.
A volunteer group, Halifax Search and Rescue, was called about 7:30 p.m. on Friday and worked until 3:30 a.m., and then promptly started again after only a two-hour break, said Paul Service, a group spokesman.
Members of the group searched for stranded motorists, used boats to help people leave their apartments and rescued about 20 people from the Bedford Place Mall in Bedford, north of Halifax, he said.
An evacuation order was put in place for the area surrounding the 21-mile St. Croix River, which runs in Hants and Halifax Counties. The Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office issued an alert at 3:33 a.m. local time that said: “Dam at risk of breaching.”
But officials said later on Saturday that the dam was no longer at risk, CBC News reported.
“Thankfully it is under control,” Abraham Zebian, mayor of the West Hants Regional Municipality, said in an interview with CBC. “They relieved some water from that dam, and we’ve got most of the area evacuated now. People are safe, thank God. We have many comfort centers open and we’re working through it.”
No injuries were reported as of Saturday afternoon, said Cpl. Guillaume Tremblay, a spokesman for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, adding that it had been a long day for officers rescuing people stuck on roadways, bridges and campgrounds.
“It was an extremely busy night for officers who worked tirelessly with zero visibility in the area,” he said.
The Halifax Regional Municipality advised its residents on Saturday to stay off the roads, noting that numerous roads were washed out because of flooding and many cars were left abandoned on the highway.
The municipality estimated that about 150 people were displaced by the floods.
Flash flooding occurred throughout the municipality, and periods of heavy rain were expected to continue until Sunday, officials said.
There was a severe thunderstorm warning in place, according to the country’s weather service. Meteorologists were forecasting patches of rain until midnight.