A Cape Breton woman is frustrated after a roof on her home was damaged by the hurricane-force storm conditions from Hurricane Fiona.

Dec 7, 2022 | News & Tips

This is the second time Lynette Borgal has made a report to Cape Breton Island Housing Authority and is still waiting on repairs. As she waits, her roof leaks onto the living room below. She was hoping for the repairs to be finished this week, but according to NICOLE SULLIVAN in the Cape Breton Post, she’s now realizing that might not be salvageable as it’s been 18 days since she first reported the leak.

In September of 2017, hurricane force winds ripped through Lynette Borgal’s Glace Bay home.

The 45-year-old woman never knew how badly the roof was damaged, until it started raining in her living room on November 26.

Borgal lives in a subsidized apartment with her 12-year-old daughter and two grandchildren, ages five and seven. Both of her grandchildren have special needs.

Although post-tropical storm Fiona has devastated the region, Borgal is confident that the housing authority will be able to assess and fix the damage. Currently tarp is up to cover the damaged area of the roof.

Crews outside of Lynette Borgal’s Glace Bay home on Tuesday morning. Nova Scotia Power was on site to wrap up electric wiring before any repairs could commence. Borgal said she was told by NSP that they were not at fault.

Fiona noticed that water was seeping in through the tarp covering the siding of her house about a month after she had it installed. Heavy rains on Nov. 26 caused this to occur for the first time.

Borgal reported it to the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services as this is where the authority is overseen.

Over the next 11 days, the hole from where the water started running in shot up to about three feet long. A new hole formed and Borgal, a housing authority work crew member, said he believes it’s from a pipe above them because there was water pouring in from that area as well.

“It’s very upsetting and frustrating,” she said. “The kids want to decorate for Christmas. We’re trying to do the best we can here. All of my living room stuff is in my daughter’s room … I’m trying to explain to them why we couldn’t decorate for Christmas yet and it’s hard because they don’t understand.”

Borgal said housing authority staff told her that the unit had asbestos in it because she lived next to other units that were built around the time when they tested and found asbestos.

I drove to Home Depot myself and got a tarp this weekend in preparation for Hurricane María,” she said.

“They haven’t said anything to me (about the asbestos). I’ve been reading up on it and trying to do what’s best for us.”

A recent rain caused water to drip into Lynette Borgal’s living room. Borgal also told reporters that she was advised that her home needed to be tested for asbestos. She was then informed by authorities that the Cape Breton Island Housing Authority didn’t need to conduct a test because asbestos has already been detected in surrounding homes, which were built at the same time. This is according to Nicole Sullivan.


The Nova Scotia Department of Municipal Affairs and Housing refused to comment and failed to provide a written statement before the article was published.

The morning of December 6, crews arrived at Borgal’s home to repair the roof. However, they were delayed from starting as Nova Scotia Power needed to come and lock down wires.

When Borgal moved into her current home on Shaft Street, she dealt with a leak in her bathroom for two years. Before the leak was fixed, it dripped constantly day and night. The leaking water left large amounts of mold throughout the room.

Borgal’s current furnace is being cleaned now by a company the housing authority contacted. Borgal says that the service provider, who she had to call for the cleaning, refused when asked because the unit was too old and out of commission. The Cape Breton Post has seen photos of a huge chunk gone from one side of the furnace.

“It takes forever to get anything done around here,” she said. “I don’t know one person who lives on this street who doesn’t have a list of repairs they’ve reported to the city.”

Crews from the Cape Breton Island Housing Authority boarded up a three-foot hole in the ceiling of a family home after it was reported five days ago by Lynette Borgal. Borgal lives with her daughter and two grandchildren in the house, they estimate it’s now tarped. NICOLE SULLIVAN/CAPE BRETON POST – Nicole Sullivan

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