Flooding submerges small island community's only road to mainland

With the worst yet to come, the Saint John region is already feeling the impacts of floodwaters coming down the St. John River and other water courses.

Darlings Island was one of several southern New Brunswick areas affected by rising water levels Monday

A Darlings Island resident wades through the floodwaters covering Darlings Island Road on Monday, the only road that leads off the island. (Brian Chisholm/CBC)

With the worst yet to come, the Saint John region is already feeling the impacts of floodwaters coming down the St. John River and other water courses.

The small community of Darlings Island has one road leading to the mainland, and it's under water. For the many island residents, it meant wading out in boots or taking a boat or kayak on Monday.

Peace officers at the scene are not permitting vehicles to cross out of concern the shallow water may be hiding sinkholes or washouts.

"It's just a major inconvenience," said Lindsay Munn.

"Today, I'm off work. I'm a shift worker. I'm a nurse. My husband works Monday to Friday, so I had to drop him off. I'm stuck on the island today."

Darlings Island resident Lindsay Munn said losing access is a major inconvenience. (Brian Chisholm/CBC News)

Raised road

Losing access to Darlings Island Road during the spring freshet is an annual issue for the community just west of Hampton. The provincial government has confirmed it's looking at raising the road, but that would require acquiring some properties to make it happen.

The province said negotiations with those landowners will take place in the coming weeks.

Provincial crews are seen placing the barricade to Darlings Island on higher ground Monday afternoon. (Brian Chisholm/CBC News)

It's not the only road in the region closed to flooding. In the past two days, six provincial roads were closed, while several Saint John streets were barricaded Monday.

The province's river ferries are also being affected. The boat launch to the ferry between the Kingston Peninsula and north Saint John was flooded Monday, suspending service.

It's among the worst floods New Brunswick has seen in recent memory. 1:03

The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure said Monday there could be more service interruptions in the coming days.

The New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization warned riverside communities south of Fredericton about rising water levels that could reach 2008 levels — when the province experienced one of its most devastating floods.

River Watch forecasts showed levels in the Saint John region were beyond flood stage Monday and they will continue to rise in the next 48 hours.

With files from Rachel Cave