Rivers overflow banks in N.B. as troops arrive to help with flooding

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Rivers overflow banks in N.B. as troops arrive to help with flooding

by - 2 min read

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Fredericton exceeded the flood stage Saturday, joined by other N.B. communities on the St. John River such as Maugerville, Jemseg, Sheffield and Lakeville Corner, meaning water is spilling over the river banks onto roads and low-lying areas. 

And the water is still rising in these communities and others along the river.

The flood stage in Fredericton is 6.5 metres, which the river exceeded by Saturday afternoon. An updated forecast from the New Brunswick government indicates the water level Sunday is expected to be 7.8 metres in the city.  The water level in Fredericton is expected to continue rising, peaking at 8.1 metres Monday, before falling to seven metres on Thursday.

That’s not quite as high as last year, when the St. John River reached 8.31 metres in the capital. 

Grand Lake is expected to reach the flood stage Monday. The St. John River in Saint Hilaire and Clair is forecast to reach the flood stage Monday as well.

(CBC)

The flooding has caused road closures in several communities, including Route 105 in Maugerville and Saint Anne’s Point Drive in Fredericton. 

Wayne Knorr, Fredericton’s communications manager,  advised people to remain behind the barricades.

“They’re there for your safety,” Knorr said.

He said commuters travelling to work Tuesday should avoid parking in the downtown area. Knorr also cautioned people to stay away from the water.

“If people are out exploring on this Easter Sunday, please be very careful along the water’s edge. That water is moving fast and it has debris and dirt in it.”

How high will the St. John River rise this spring, and does the Mactaquac Dam have anything to do with it? A New Brunswick flood, explained. 1:26

Troops to help with sandbagging

About 120 troops are expected to be deployed Sunday to help with flooding relief efforts. The Canadian Armed Forces announced Saturday that it’s deploying Joint Task Force teams to assess how they can help in parts of New Brunswick. 

Lt.-Col. Sean French, commander of the 2nd Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment based at Gagetown, said some of the possible duties for the troops could include sandbagging, checking on the welfare of residents and evacuation support. 

The New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization is urging people in flood-prone areas to take precautions and prepare to evacuate. 

In Fredericton, sandbags are available at the Regent Street Depot at 1581 Regent St. and the Parks & Trees Depot at 100 Two Nations Crossing. The New Brunswick government has a list of sand and sandbag locations on their website.

“The time for preparedness is now,” said Greg MacCallum, director of New Brunswick’s EMO, on Saturday. The EMO is also watching for flooding along the Restigouche River, Middle River and Tetagouche River.

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

This story originally appeared on CBC

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