Sunday, April 20, 2014

Water levels still high in N.B., but fears ease in some areas

Voluntary evacuation in Perth-Andover area and Notre-Dame

CBC News Posted: Apr 20, 2014 10:24 AM AT Last Updated: Apr 20, 2014 2:55 PM AT
Multiple roads remain under water or closed across New Brunswick and a major ice jam on the St. John River broke overnight, but flood fears eased Sunday afternoon in some spots of the province.
Officials have been particularly concerned about areas around Tobique First Nation and Perth-Andover in western New Brunswick, where some residents have voluntarily left their homes.

Ice from a major jam in Sainte-Anne-de-Madawaska that broke overnight began floating downstream Sunday and passed Perth-Andover during the morning.

Ice began to build further down the river. Water levels rose during the morning, but levelled off and began dropping Sunday afternoon, according to Justine Walbeck, the village’s public information officer.

She said there were fears there could be a mandatory evacuation, but by afternoon there was hope the worst had passed.

"It’s been a very long long weekend," she said. "It’s been really stressful."

But there are concerns this is only the beginning of spring flooding. There are reports the snow in northern Maine is deep — as deep as the snow that melted and helped spur the record New Brunswick floods of 2008.
"In '08 there was about eight to 12 inches of water in the snowpack," said Donald Guimond, the town manager of Fort Kent, which is on the U.S. side of the border.  

"They did a snow survey about two days ago and there's still anywheres from eight to 12 inches of water content in the snow pack, which is pretty significant."

New Brunswick's Emergency Measures Organization said water levels remain above flood stage in some parts of the province, including Fredericton, Maugerville, Jemseg, Grand Lake, Sheffield and Lakeville Corner.

Some homes in the community of Notre-Dame in eastern New Brunswick have also evacuated after water levels rose at Falconer Road.

"Levels remain high and we continue to ask people to stay on alert through all areas of the province," said Lisa Harrity, a spokeswoman EMO.

Water levels are also expected reach flood stage Sunday in Quispamsis, Saint John and Oak Point in southern New Brunswick.

Crews have barricaded a portion of Lawrence Long Road in Saint John and a city official is urging motorists to respect detours and barricades meant to help them avoid flood spots.

Water levels and ice jams in rivers are also being monitored in other spots across the province, including Woodstock and Bathurst.