Flood concerns continue as province hit by heavy rain
Fredericton surpasses flood level, reaching 6.9 metres above sea level
Communities along the St. John River in western New Brunswick are dealing with flooding and many parts of the province are experiencing periods of heavy rain on Wednesday.
The City of Fredericton said the St. John River surpassed its flood level Wednesday. Mayor Brad Woodside said the river is going to peak at 7.2 metres Wednesday night before receding Thursday.
The flood level in the Fredericton area reached 6.9 metres above sea level later in the day Wednesday. The water is expected to drop back to 5.9 metres on Thursday.
The rising water levels are expected to affect homes and streets in low-lying areas.
The city has already closed a section of River Street because of water and ice on the road. As well, portions of Route 8 near Durham Bridge are closed because of high water levels.
The provincial government's River Watch forecast also calls for the St. John River to approach flood stage in Clair and a flood stage of 6.0 metres in Maugerville on Thursday.
Horizon Health Network moved all 23 patients from Hotel Dieu of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Perth-Andover Wednesday evening and temporarily closed the facility as flood waters blocked access.
Patients, depending on their conditions, will either be transferred to the Upper River Valley Hospital or sent home Wednesday evening.
Fredericton firefighters were called out to a couple of flood-related events on Wednesday morning.
Firefighters were called to a home in the Devon neighbourhood at about 4:30 a.m. after flood water was up over the furnace in the basement.
Platoon Captain Mike Mizner said they were also out to Kingsley Road where a home was in danger of being cut off because of a flooded culvert.
The Fredericton Police issued a statement on Wednesday morning saying they had responded to a number of minor vehicle accidents.
"With the unfavourable weather — mix of wet snow and rain — which creates freezing conditions, we are asking motorists to slow down, and take their time getting to their destination," the police department's statement said.
The Department of Transportation is reporting roughly 30 road closures across the province due to flooding.
“River flows are forecast to increase throughout the basin and there is a high probability of ice movement along the St. John River and other river systems across the province within the next two days,” according to an advisory released by the provincial government.
“With ice movement there is the potential for ice jams to occur as well as associated flooding. People living in all regions should be prepared and remain a safe distance away from waterways.
The Anglophone West School District has closed Woodstock Centennial, Woodstock Middle School and Woodstock High School because of “physical plant problems with water” on Wednesday.
NB Power is reporting roughly 390 customers are without power, the vast majority of whom are in Fredericton.
Woodstock residents are now under an order to boil drinking water due to flooding. The high water knocked out power to the community's well system.
The town put a pump in place Wednesday morning to supply some water to the community.
"We have alerted people that we actually could run out of water. There's a strong possibility," said Ken Harding of the town of Woodstock.
As well, King Street, Water Street and the New Brunswick Community College parking lot are closed because of flooding.
There were tense moments earlier this week for a farmer in Red Bridge, who nearly lost his cattle.
Wayne Martin had to wade into the freezing flood waters to rescue a one-month-old calf who had left its barn, after the water became too high.
Martin was eventually able to rescue his other cattle from the flooded barn.
There were flood problems in other parts of the province.
The Anglophone South School District has also announced that Sussex Elementary, Sussex Regional High School, Sussex Corner Elementary School and Sussex Middle School are closing on Wednesday morning.
Sussex is also opening a rest and warming centre at Kingswood University for any residents with flooded homes.
Moncton area deals with flooding
The City of Moncton issued a statement saying flooding has closed McLaughlin Drive between Xavier Avenue and Valley Ranch Road.
Water is over the road at the Ogilvie Brook culvert.
The city is urging drivers to avoid flooded areas and not to drive around barriers.
The gates at Jones Lake and part of West Main Street were also underwater by later in the day on Wednesday.
Officials are also keeping a close eye on Centennial Park, which is completely under water in some spots.
Many homeowners are also dealing with flooded basements.
"The river got backed up and it's backing up into the drain tile so it's coming out of my basement just as fast as the river's going by," said Shawn Hendry, who lives in Westbrook Circle.
Students from Riverview East and Riverview High School, who live in White Birch Estates and on Route 114 toward Hillsborough, were released at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday because of flooding.
Flooding left one Hillsborough business completely surrounded by water on Tuesday.
Broadview Power Sports had to use a boat to get customers from the street to their shop.
Patty's Restaurant, which is located next to the store, was also completely flooded in the rear of the building.
Hillsborough Mayor Patrick Armstrong said on Tuesday he was concerned about more flooding because of the warm temperatures and heavy rain in the forecast.
"If we get that much more rain and more water for the ice melting and snow melting, we're going to have a serious problem here,” he said.
Earlier this year, the Department of Transportation promised residents in the area it would hold a meeting on the flooding issue.
A department official says no date has been set for the public meeting.