Provincial and local emergency officials are continuing today, Aug. 24, to meet the needs of residents and tourists isolated in Meat Cove, after heavy rain severely damaged bridges and roads. Later today, construction of a temporary bridge is expected to begin and a paramedic will be stationed in Meat Cove to ensure timely access to emergency medical care. Nineteen visitors in Meat Cove elected to leave by boat Monday afternoon, after assessments by provincial highway engineers indicated it would take at least seven days to install a temporary bridge to help restore access to the community. “This has been a trying time for the community and the tourists visiting the areas,” said Ross Landry, acting Minister of Emergency Management. “By working in partnership with community members and local agencies, government has made significant progress to ensure residents are safe and secure, and help visitors get back home.” Visitors were taken by boat to Bay St. Lawrence where temporary accommodations were set up at the local fire hall. Monday evening, five tourists were taken to Sydney. The remaining 14 were transferred this morning. Transportation and accommodations assistance has been arranged by the province. A bus has been provided to bring the visitors to Sydney, rental cars are being arranged, and airlines are being contacted to help people make flight connections. Representatives from the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage are meeting with the visitors in Sydney to ensure that their needs continue to be met. Six visitors chose to stay in Meat Cove. Their accommodations have been arranged in the community. There are about 35 residences in Meat Cove. On Monday, Deputy Premier Frank Corbett and government representatives attended a community information session in Meat Cove with residents and visitors. “The focus of government, and our partners, has been on ensuring that residents and visitors are able to move on with their lives,” said Mr. Corbett. “We are working quickly to do what is right.” Early Sunday morning, work began to assess damage caused by Saturday night’s rainfall in Meat Cove. Local emergency managers, EMO and RCMP were on the scene and plans to respond, and ensure the safety of residents and visitors, were quickly put in place. Initial assessments of the damage to the Salmon River Bridge were conducted and arrangements for emergency medical access to the community established. Public safety information was provided to media and community leaders, who shared the information with campers and residents. On Monday, safe transportation to Meat Cove was possible and emergency managers and government representatives travelled to the area and held a community meeting. Provisions, including additional medical supplies, food and water were brought in. By late afternoon, time lines for repairs were established and tourists began to be transported out of the community. Government and local officials worked to support transportation and accommodation needs of tourists overnight Monday into today. Officials from the Emergency Management Office are working with RCMP, Emergency Health Services, the Canadian Red Cross and others to ensure those remaining in the community have access to emergency services and supplies are available. As construction on the temporary bridge begins later today after bridge parts arrive, Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal staff will also be working to get heavy equipment across the river to begin repairs at damaged points beyond the Salmon River Bridge Resources have also been provided by the Meat Cove Community Centre. People are encouraged to report damages to their primary residence caused by Saturday’s rain storm to the Emergency Management Office by calling 1-866-424-5620.