The top of a service truck is seen abandoned in floodwater following a major rain event in Halifax on Saturday, July 22, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

RCMP say body of Nova Scotia youth who went missing in flood has been found

Nova Scotia RCMP said Wednesday they believe they have recovered the body of a youth who went missing July 22 during a severe storm.

The province’s medical examiner still needs to positively identify the remains found on Tuesday morning, police told reporters. They said they recovered the body along the shore in Advocate Harbour, N.S., about 70 kilometres northwest of the area where the youth and three other people went missing in floodwaters.

Last week, searchers recovered the bodies of two six-year-old children — identified as Natalie Hazel Harnish and Colton Sisco — and 52-year-old Nicholas Holland, who was travelling with the youth who had been missing.

At a news conference Wednesday, Premier Tim Houston thanked RCMP and other first responders, including volunteer firefighters, who helped search shorelines and flooded fields for the missing people.

“We’re thankful and grateful for your efforts,” Houston said. “And we’ll never know how many lives you saved.”

“My sincere condolences to the families of the four lost souls,” he added. “You’ll be forever in our hearts and be the very sad legacy of these floods.”

RCMP have said two vehicles were knocked off the road early on July 22 into a hayfield in Brooklyn, N.S., by rapidly rising water during a storm that dumped up to 250 millimetres of rain.

Funerals were held earlier this week for the two six-year-olds who died.

In Brooklyn Monday, hundreds of people gathered at the local firehall to grieve Natalie, who was described as a butterfly who lit up every room. A funeral was held the following day for Colton, whose obituary describes him as an animal lover who was keen on farming, and who had pet ducks and pigs at home.

The severe flooding from a series of thunderstorms damaged dozens of roads and bridges across the province, and provincial officials are still assessing the full extent of the damage.