Floodwaters to peak Monday in Fredericton, still rising further south

The flood along the St. John River will peak in Fredericton and Maugerville on Monday before tapering off over the next few days. 

Meanwhile, the water levels in Oak Point, Quispamsis-Saint John, Jemseg and Sheffield will continue to climb above flood stage in the next 48 hours. 

Ice jams released Saturday morning caused a small surge of water to flow down the river in the Fredericton area, said Jasmin Boisvert, water resources specialist with the Department of Environment and Local Government. 

Fredericton exceeded the flood stage Saturday, meaning water is spilling over the river banks onto roads and low-lying areas. (Submitted by Nat Perry)

“This is why water levels were slightly faster than what was being forecasted in the lower basin last night,” he said. “In the upper basin, above Grand Falls, water level forecasts have been significantly revised due to the flushing out of ice.”

He said the upper St. John River likely won’t reach flood stage, although three communities, Clair-Fort Kent, Saint Hilaire and Edmunston, are threatened. 

But in the capital city, water levels will remain stable around eight to 8.1 metres for the next two days, about 1.5 metres above the flood stage for the city. 

In Fredericton, water levels will remain around eight to 8.1 metres for the next two days. (Submitted by Nat Perry)

Flood won’t reach 2018 levels

Late last week there was some concern that the flooding could be worse than last spring. In 2018, the St. John River reached 8.31 metres in Fredericton. 

“That’s not shaping up to be the case right now,” said Geoffrey Downey, a spokesperson for the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization. 

“Things change, but with the temperature dipping below freezing during the night in the north again and almost no precipitation in the forecast, hopefully we’ve seen the worst of it but everyone still needs to be prepared for significant flooding.” 

EMO’s Geoffrey Downey lists what a 72-hour flood kit should contain and why. 0:47

EMO is warning residents to be on alert, particularly if they live in a flood-prone areas. 

The Red Cross has set up a reception spot at Centre Communautaire Saint-Anne in Fredericton for those looking to leave their home because of the flooding. People can also contact the Red Cross by calling 1-800-863-6582. 

About 120 Canadian Armed Forces troops were deployed Sunday to help sandbag and check on the welfare of residents. 

The Department of Transportation said 55 roads and bridges have been impacted by the flooding. Thirty-six of those 55 are closed or partially closed. 

“It’s sort of a moving target for road closures as the river goes up and down,” Downey said. “Anyone who’s travelling through an area that is prone to flooding should really check ahead and make sure they’re not too far down the road where they all of a sudden discover a road is closed or a bridge is closed.”

Downey also said people shouldn’t try to go around any of the barriers blocking roads. More information about road closures can be found on the New Brunswick government’s website.

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