Flood cleanup continues in New Brunswick

Many New Brunswick communities continue to clean up and assess the damage after Wednesday’s flooding.

Plenty of sinkholes, home and property damage in flood’s wake

The City of Moncton had its share of woes after Wednesday's flooding. 2:13

Many New Brunswick communities continue to clean up and assess the damage after Wednesday’s flood waters ravaged much of the province.

Heavy rains and warmer temperatures caused a rapid rise in water levels and ice jams due to snow-pack melting and ice-cover deterioration in several river systems across the province.

Flood damage in Moncton

The City of Moncton spent Thursday cleaning up after floodwater took over streets and municipal parks suffered serious damage.

Most of the water at Centennial Park in Moncton has receded since Wednesday. (CBC)
Centennial Park, in the city’s west end, was inundated with floodwater. It covered the playground, an office and washrooms.

Most of the water had receded by Thursday morning, but it will be another few days before things are back to normal.

"I almost want to cry," said Rebecca Saunders. "You know, this was such a beautiful park and now it’s flooded and almost destroyed by mud and dirt. And it's caught me speechless."             

Josh Alexander says he expects cleanup will cost a lot.

"That's going to be the big thing. Cleanup is going to take a while," he said.

City crews are cleaning up West Main Street so the road could be opened again. Water spilled over from Jones Lake and ate up part of the sidewalk.

A sinkhole has appeared near the gates of Jones Lake.

A breached pipe was repaired last year and city worker Dan Hicks says he suspects the same thing happened this time.

"Again nothing too dramatic, but still something we need to repair and the weather conditions up to now haven't been favourable for that," he said.

Giant sinkhole

Drivers travelling between Hillsborough and Riverview have to take a detour because part of Route 114 is completely caved in by a giant sinkhole.

"Well it's quite a mess. Gosh it's certainly inconvenient for us who live out this way. Actually I'm just on my way into town now and I have to add at least another 30 minutes each way," said Dave Delaney.

Dave Delaney says he was shocked to see such a large sinkhole on Route 114 between Hillsborough and Riverview. (CBC)
Delaney says he's shocked to see a sinkhole of this size.

"I never ever thought I'd see that at least around here anyway. It just shows how much water we had going through here. It was just phenomenal."

Kevin Ellis says he was shocked to see the gaping hole in the pavement.

"It just looks like the things you see that come out of California when all of the world just opens up," said Ellis.

60 RVs written off

Meanwhile, the communities of Sussex and Sussex Corner, where flooding caused streams and brooks to overload the Kennebecasis River, will be facing a costly cleanup.

The area was the hardest hit in the province.

Mayor Steven Gillies of Sussex Corner called a state of emergency Wednesday morning.

New Brunswick Premier David Alward, who was touring the flood-stricken area, thanked volunteers.

"You guys are just incredible support," he said.

Alward also spent a few minutes with some of the flood victims like Wendy Inkpen who came to the Red Cross warming centre.

As waters receded Thursday, Inkpen returned to her basement apartment to retrieve some essentials.

"I can't remember what room I had my wallet in, the living room or the kitchen," she said.

Items in Wendy Inkpen’s basement apartment are floating in floodwater. (CBC)
Inkpen had no luck finding her wallet because everything had been dumped and moved around by the water.

Power to her house and many others has been turned off until inspectors can determine it is safe.

At Doug's Recreation in Sussex Corner an estimated 60 New RVs have been written off, along with 30 used ones.

Damage is estimated in the millions.

"As soon as it came up over that road we had no hope. So we got probably a dozen units out of this yard as quick as we could and then the water was so high we weren’t able to hook onto them anymore,” said owner Sarah Toole.

Toole says she's still in business and replacement units are on the way.

Businesses in the Gateway Mall were closed Thursday. The mall parking lot was one of the last areas where water remained.

Meanwhile, river levels have dropped, there are no ice jams, and the town's Fire Chief Harold Lowe is hoping the danger from further flooding has passed.

People who have suffered flood damage are asked to register with the provincial government by calling: 1-888-298-8555.


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