Friday, March 23, 2012

Major Spring Flooding on the Upper Saint John River

Hospital closure, state of emergency in Perth-Andover

Waters rapidly rising in communities in northern and western parts of N.B.

Posted: Mar 23, 2012 7:07 AM AT

Last Updated: Mar 23, 2012 6:59 PM AT

Warm weather has broken numerous ice jams in waterways throughout western and northern New Brunswick, threatening several communities with flooding, washing out several roads and even closed a hospital.
Residents in some communities reported the worst flooding in a quarter of a century.

State of emergency

The Village of Perth-Andover declared a state of emergency Friday around noon because of flooding in the western New Brunswick community.
At 6:04 p.m., the community's Hotel-Dieu of St. Joseph Hospital issued a release stating that "to ensure the health and safety of patients, the Hotel-Dieu of St. Joseph Hospital in Perth-Andover will be temporarily closed due to the impact of flooding from the St. John River."
The hospital said that Ambulance New Brunswick was working with hospital staff to evacuate 21 patients to the Upper River Valley Hospital in Waterville, Grand Falls General Hospital and Victoria Glen Manor until further notice.
"The patients being transferred are in stable condition. Family of patients will be advised of their relocation and can call 273-2201 for further information," the release said.
"Individuals requiring emergency services are to call 911. All outpatient scheduled appointments at the Hotel-Dieu of St. Joseph Hospital have been cancelled until further notice and will be rescheduled."
The village's bridge has been closed and several sections of the community, on both sides of the St. John River, are underwater.
Residents were first alerted to the flood problems when an alarm sounded at about 11 a.m.
An hour later, another alarm signalled a mandatory evacuation order for people living in low-lying areas.
The local school sent students home early.
The flooding forced the local fire department to evacuate their vehicles from the flood plain.
Locals said it was the worst flooding in 25 years. Several businesses and homes were flooded out.
New Brunswick's Emergency Measures Organization is monitoring two major ice jams along the St. John River system, one in Drummond and the other in Woodstock.

River rising near Fredericton

Fredericton residents are being advised to be careful along the St. John River on Saturday as the city may hit the flood level on Saturday.
The Emergency Measures Organization's River Watch program forecasted on Thursday the St. John River would reach 6.9 metres above sea level on Saturday slightly above the city’s flood stage of 6.5 metres.
Weather forecasters expect levels will fall below the flood level by Sunday.
Residents of McMinniman Court and Bourque Lane could be affected by the rising waters.
Fredericton’s Emergency Measures Organization is reminding residents to be extremely careful along the water's edge.
River currents are strong and flood waters carry debris that is not safe for contact with humans or family pets. Boaters are also asked to stay off the river.
Karl Wilmot, the co-ordinator for the River Watch program, said on Friday that water levels are lower than predicted.
"The ice jams that were in the St. John River and the Nashwaak River have released overnight," Wilmot said.
He said the Nashwaak River is still responsible for the most flooding in the river system, he said.
The River Watch program is also forecasting flooding in the Upper St. John River.
Water levels are predicted to surpass the flood stage in the Clair-Fort Kent area. The flood level is 156.2 metres and the river is expected to rise to 156.8 metres on Saturday.

Several roads closed

The spring flooding is also causing several road closures in western New Brunswick.
Twelve roads were closed in the province early Friday evening. On the St. John River the closures are in the areas of Woodstock, Hartland, Perth-Andover and Plaster Rock.
There were also closures in Durham Bridge, Sunny Corner and Bathurst.
Flooding in the northwest of the province destroyed a bridge near Kedgewick when a breaking ice jam caused a flash flood. Many maple sugar producers were cut off from their operations across river.
There was also flooding further downriver in Edmunston.
Route 105 is closed for a kilometre south of Hartland also between Route 575 and Rideout Road. The Newburg Road is also closed.
And further up the St. John River, Route 105 is also closed between Village of Perth's limits and Muniac Road.
Route 390 is flooded and closed between Wapske and Plaster Rock.
And in the Durham Bridge area on the Nashwaak River, McLean Flat Road remains closed from near the intersection with route 628.
At Middle River, near Bathurst, one family had to be rescued via Canadian Forces Cormorant helicopter Thursday night after their home was submerged.
Provincial NDP leader Dominic Cardy expressed sadness over the flooding.
“My prayers are with the folks affected, my concern is with lives disrupted, businesses damaged, and of course the emergency workers and volunteers who are stepping up,” Cardy said in a release.

Selected All Time Record March Highs (March 22nd)

New Brunswick

Greater Moncton Int'l Airport

Max: 26.1°C

Fredericton Int'l Airport

Max: 27.2°C

St. Stephen

Max: 28.6°C



Max: 26.1°C/79°F


Max: 28.9°C/84°F


Max: 26.6°C/80°F


Max: 28.9°C/84°F


Max: 27.8°C/82°F

Nova Scotia

Kentville AAFC

Max: 25.7°C

Halifax Stanfield Int'l Airport

Max: 27.2°C

Kejimkujik Park

Max: 27.9°C

Western Head

Max: 29.2°C



Max: 25.2°C

Charlottetown Airport

Max: 24.5°C

St. Peters

Max: 23.6°C