Residents carry groceries and clothes out of canoes as floodwaters surround a home on Grand Lake in New Brunswick on Tuesday, May 1, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

N.B. officials urge people to evacuate their neighbourhoods as floodwaters rise

The Emergency Measures Organization is urging people to leave certain neighbourhoods in and around Saint John

The Emergency Measures Organization in New Brunswick is urging people to leave certain neighbourhoods in and around Saint John due to rising floodwaters that could surpass record-setting water levels in 1973.

The organization said access to several areas, including Randolph, Westfield Road, Ragged Point Road and Beach Road, is limited and will likely be completely cut off by worsening flooding in a region that stretches from Fredericton to the Saint John area.

Spokesman Geoffrey Downey said Wednesday that while attention has been focused on flooding in Fredericton over the last several days, concern is mounting in several areas south of the capital that are being inundated by the heavy rains and melting snow that have swollen the Saint John River.

“A few of them are looking at flood levels rivalling 1973, which is the worst on record,” he said. “For every community south of Fredericton, we’re asking that they be on high alert, that they consider their property’s flood history and give serious consideration to self evacuation.”

Related: Officials warn B.C. flooding may be worse due to 2017 wildfires

Related: RCMP offer to airlift people trapped by flooding in Cariboo

EMO says the voluntary evacuation notice could affect about 1,900 people in Saint John, who should make their own arrangements or go to the Carleton Community Centre or contact the Canadian Red Cross.

Water levels along the Saint John River are expected to continue to rise through the week, isolating homes and leading to further road closures. NB Power has also turned off electricity to about 104 customers for safety reasons.

Downey said more than 30 homes had been evacuated so far, affecting about 100 people. He expected that number would rise around Saint John and urged people to leave their homes if floodwaters are rising around them, adding that they should take their pets, medications, clothing and identification.

“Doing it in the daylight when you still have dry roads is far easier and safer than having to call someone in the middle of the night because you’ve realized your house is under water and your car is under water and the only way to get out is in a boat,” he said.

Water levels were at about five metres in Saint John and could reach 6.6 metres by Sunday, exceeding the 2008 flood level by over a meter, he said.

EMO says people in southern regions of the Saint John River basin should expect similar or worse conditions than previous floods in communities stretching from Jemseg, Gagetown, Hampstead, Oak Point south to Quispamsis.

Downey said the record for Maugerville was 7.11 metres of water and the forecast is calling for 7.1 metres, while in Jemseg the forecast was for 6.7 metres Thursday which would surpass the record of 6.36 metres in 1973.

There is rain in the forecast and snow in the north, which is expected to make the situation more dire in the coming days. Much of the sitting water also won’t recede quickly, he said, adding that the Fredericton area has been at about eight metres since late last week.

“For a lot of people, the worst is yet to come and it’s not going to be over any time soon,” Downey said.

“Once they reach those levels, they can pretty much count on it remaining that way for days. It doesn’t seem to be a flood that’s going to rise and drop quickly.”

In the Fredericton region, water levels are forecast to remain at their current levels.

Other waterways were also at risk of flooding, including the Nashwaak, Salmon, Middle and Tetagouche rivers, EMO said.

Related: East coast begins massive cleanup after downpours knock out roads, power

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

B.C. Green Party pushes for wild salmon commissioner

The role would serve as a unifying force in the provincial government

BC Ferries confirms Northern Sea Wolf will not sail until mid-July

BC Ferries had hoped to get the vessel in September of last year, but it didn’t arrive until December

UPDATED: Horgan says B.C. defending its interests in Trans Mountain pipeline

Canadian finance minister’s update comes the same day Kinder Morgan shareholders plan to meet

5 things to know about B.C. Floods 2018

Snowpacks continue to melt causing thousands to be displaced, dozens of local states of emergency

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

PNE’s Summer Night Concerts by Village People, Lauper, Goo Goo Dolls, more

Mostly retro sounds at this year’s fair in Vancouver, starting Aug. 18

Notley to skip western premiers meeting today, but slams leader who’s there

Notley told reporters that B.C. Premier John Horgan is trying to shut down the Trans Mountain pipeline

No suitors emerge for pipeline project stake as Kinder Morgan deadline looms

Analysts and observers remain perplexed by Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s comment last week that “plenty of investors would be interested in taking on this project”.

Energy wells plugged as Hawaii’s volcano sends lava nearby

A spike in gas levels could prompt a mass evacuation in Hawaii

Trump seethes over Russia probe, calls for end to ‘SPYGATE’

“SPYGATE could be one of the biggest political scandals in history!” Trump said on Twitter

Grads receive BC Transit passes

BC Transit provides passes to graduating students in more than 50 communities

Philip Roth, fearless and celebrated author, dies at 85

Literary agent Andrew Wylie said Roth died Tuesday night of congestive heart failure.

Woman’s death near Tofino prompts warning about ‘unpredictable’ ocean

Ann Wittenberg was visiting Tofino for her daughter Victoria Emon’s wedding

Most Read