New Brunswickers keep watchful eye on water levels as flood cleanup continues

While some New Brunswick communities were still cleaning up Friday after flooding earlier in the week, others were nervously watching water levels and bracing for their turn.

PERTH-ANDOVER, N.B. — While some New Brunswick communities were still cleaning up Friday after flooding earlier in the week, others were nervously watching water levels and bracing for their turn.

In the northwestern village of Perth-Andover, municipal officials warned flooding was possible by early Saturday as water levels continued to fluctuate.

Village spokeswoman Justine Waldeck said the breakup of ice along the St. John River and at the dam at Grand Falls was a cause for concern.

“The ice above Grand Falls will eventually give way and we will see that ice come through the dam and then come into our community,” Waldeck said in an interview.

“If we get another two and a half feet (of water) in town, then it will start to cross at our lower lying areas.”

Mayor Terry Ritchie called Wednesday for a voluntary evacuation amid fears the St. John River could flood parts of the village, which experienced severe flooding in March 2012. Waldeck said the voluntary evacuation remained in effect Friday.

“After the 2012 flood, it’s still fresh in everybody’s mind, so they’ve (residents) responded very well and have been very co-operative,” said Waldeck. “We’re very pleased and very thankful.”

Oromocto fire Chief Jody Price urged curious New Brunswickers to stay away from rising, fast-moving waters after two women accidentally drove their car into the St. John River on Thursday.

Price said one of the women placed a frantic phone call to a 911 dispatcher from the sinking car around 10:30 p.m. after getting too close to the water’s edge.

“It was very sketchy, but what they got from the caller was ’Oromocto wharf, car in water, sinking, people in it,”’ said Price. “And then the phone went dead.”

When firefighters arrived on the scene, the two women were swimming to shore, about 15 metres from where they had abandoned the car. They were taken to hospital for treatment of hypothermia.

Price said firefighters searched for the car, but it had been swept away by the current.

“We’re telling people, they’ve got to be careful around these high waters ,” he said. “It’s extremely dangerous.”

A spokesman for the Department of Public Safety said the province’s rivers were too unpredictable for residents to let their guard down.

Paul Bradley said water levels were expected to rise in the coming days in communities near Fredericton, including Jemseg and Maugerville. He said officials were also keeping a close eye on ice jams in Sainte-Anne-de-Madawaska and Doaktown.

“Even in those places where they’re cleaning up, you never know with the amount of water and snow that’s still around, there could still be impacts,” he said. “We want everyone to remain vigilant and watch water levels.”

Premier David Alward spent Thursday touring areas of the province that were submerged earlier this week when heavy rain and ice jams caused rivers and streams to spill their banks.

During a stop in Sussex, Alward said the government’s priority was to ensure the safety of residents. Crews were expected to begin inspecting homes Friday in the town to determine whether they’re safe.

Homeowners and businesses affected by flooding were also being advised to register with Service New Brunswick.

A number of areas throughout Eastern Canada, including Ontario and Quebec, have been contending with floods in recent days.

Just Posted

Several Red Deer businesses’ phone/fax lines taken over by ‘spoofers’

Same ‘prank’ calls were made as happened with RedCliff RCMP

Red Deer apartment project opposed by some neighbours

Two buildings proposed for a site in Normandeau with existing four apartment complexes

Red Deer’s osprey cam celebrities are back

FortisAlberta has webcam set up at nest created as part of avian protection program

Red Deer PCN Women’s Fun Run introduces Community Diaper Dash

Central Albertans will make a dash in diapers to bring lunches to… Continue reading

Cast your votes for the Best of Red Deer

Nominations for the Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are officially… Continue reading

Opinion: Schools can’t be exempt from scrutiny

This weekend’s meeting of the Alberta School Councils’ Association promises to be… Continue reading

Bishop now the Stars goalie trying to beat Blues in playoffs

Ben Bishop grew up rooting for the St. Louis Blues before being… Continue reading

Nashville gets its chance to step up for NFL draft

NASHVILLE — Broadway in downtown Nashville is as lively a place as… Continue reading

The Cranberries, still in mourning, return for the last time

NEW YORK — Whether or not there would be a final Cranberries’… Continue reading

Dance studio owner in dispute with Burton Cummings fined for noise ticket

MOOSE JAW, Sask. — The owner of a dance fitness studio who… Continue reading

Gardening: Time and effort key to buying garden plants

Greenhouses, garden centers and box stores are set to start selling bedding… Continue reading

Montreal native Nicholas Latifi off to solid start on Formula 2 race circuit

Practice makes perfect for Canadian Nicholas Latifi. The 23-year-old Montreal auto racer… Continue reading

Most Read