NB Flooding Sussex Tim Hortons Apr 16 2014

Keegan Worden, left, and David Clement check on a flooded Tim Hortons location along Main Street in Sussex, N.B., on April 16. (David Smith/Canadian Press)

The Alward government has released a Flood Risk Reduction Strategy for the province, fulfilling a commitment from the 2012 throne speech.

The 13-page document is centred around three key objectives:

  • Accurate flood hazard identification, including renewing and expanding the existing flood hazard maps.
  • Planning for communities and infrastructure to avoid flood risk, including promoting design and engineering standards that reduce risks.
  • Informed mitigation of existing flood risk, including addressing flood vulnerability in infrastructure renewal.

Some of the actions will be implemented "in the short term," while others will take longer, Environment and Local Government Minister Danny Soucy said in a statement.

"We all have a role to play in reducing flood risk, and New Brunswick's Flood Risk Reduction Strategy is an important first step in working toward long-term solutions," said Soucy.

"Its success will depend on co-operation by all levels of government and our residents," he said.

The goals include:

  • Increased public safety and reduction of personal hardships.
  • Reduced flood damage to properties, infrastructure and the environment.
  • Increased community resilience.
  • Cost savings for taxpayers and property owners.
  • Less uncertainty about flood risk, leading to better decisions.

Flood waters ravaged much of the province this spring.

About 870 property owners have filed damage reports totalling more than $15 million so far, government officials have said.

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.

The Sussex and Sussex Corner areas were among the hardest hit. Sussex Corner Mayor Steven Gillies had called a state of emergency on April 16.

The government is providing disaster financial assistance for homes, businesses and non-profit organizations affected by flooding since April 15.