Water levels continue to rise along the St. John River outside of Fredericton

April 29, 2018

While water levels on the St. John River remain stable in Fredericton and in the Edmundston region, attention is now turning to water levels further down river says the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization.

"We're going to be watching the river levels in the southern part of the province in the coming days. The river levels in the southern portion of the St. John River basin are expected to increase so we are watching them carefully," Shawn Berry, acting EMO spokesman, said.

The water level in Maugerville, about 16 kilometres southeast of Fredericton, is at 6.5 metres, and it is forecast to reach 6.6 metres Monday and stay at that level Tuesday. The flood level in that community is 6 metres.

The water level is expected to rise in Maugerville to 6.6 metres. Matthew Bingley/CBC

Further down the river at Jemseg — where the flood level is 4.3 metres — the water level reached 5.27 metres Sunday. It was forecast to be 5.0 today and 5.3 on Monday but the two-day forecast now shows it going up to 5.5 metres Monday and 5.8 metres on Tuesday.

In Grand Lake, the water level is at 5.2 metres — two metres above flood level — and is forecast to reach 5.9 metres over the next 48 hours.

The water level in Sheffield and Lakeville Corner is forecast to reach 6.3 metres by Tuesday, up 1.5 metres from a flood level of 4.8 metres.

Limited Travel

On Saturday, the Oromocto Fire Department said due to the dangerous water conditions, it would not escort residents into the affected areas.

The Oromocto Fire Department has its command post set up in Burton. Travel into the flooded areas is limited. Matthew Bingley/CBC

"We will continue to remove residents from their houses. Travel below the Burton bridge is limited to [vehicles] 3/4 tons or larger," it said in a release.

The fire department says travel in the areas is extremely dangerous and should be limited to essential travel only.

Meanwhile, in Fredericton, the water level is at 8.1 metres and is expected to remain at or near that level for the next few days.Berry said EMO has deployed resources in various communities across the province to assist communities needing help during the flooding.

EMO said all evacuations so far have been voluntary. By Sunday, 22 households, consisting of 45 people, had registered with the Red Cross, and 16 households received assistance.

"That indicates that a number of people have probably sought shelter with a family and friends,"

Anyone who needs to leave their home is asked to call the Red Cross at 1-800-863-6582 for help.

Stay Alert

Two shelters are set up in Fredericton for those displaced due to flooding and have no access to temporary accommodations. One is available at the Salvation Army on St. Mary's Street for Fredericton residents. People from outlying areas can access a shelter on the UNB campus located at 20 Bailey Drive. 

EMO warns people to remain on alert over the next 48 hours as water levels continue to rise in some areas. People are asked to call 911 if immediate help is needed.

Roads in affected areas remain closed. It is anticipated that the road to Darlings Island will be closed at high tide today, EMO said.

EMO director Greg MacCallum said people can face fines if caught driving around or moving a barricade on a flooded street. Philip Drost/CBC
Find all road closures here.

Other watercourses at risk include:

1. Nashwaak River.

2. Middle River (Bathurst).

3. Tetagouche River (North Tetagouche Road).

NBEMO advises N.B. residents can report damages related to the current spring flood by calling 1-888-298-8555 or by registering online.

"The Damage Report Line program will allow residents, tenants, small businesses and not-for profit organizations to receive information and register their flood-related damage with a single phone call," NBEMO said in a release.

All damage assessments will be reviewed and health and safety inspection teams will be dispatched if needed. 

NBEMO also cautions people about pumping water out of their basements. If done too soon, it could cause structural damage or collapse the basement. 

EMO plans to hold a news conference Sunday afternoon to provide an update on the flooding situation. 

With files from CBC News.

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