Fredericton braces for possible flooding
City's emergency measures organization director says volume of snow could mean trouble for capital
The director of Fredericton’s Emergency Measures Organization says it could be a bad spring flooding season.
Wayne Tallon says a meeting is planned for Thursday to look at the latest information about the snow pack in the Saint John River basin and determine the likely impact if it melts quickly.
"The worst case scenario, I think we'd have to prepare ourselves for a 2008 flood," which saw water reach the back steps of City Hall and forced the closure of dozens of streets, he said.
"We've got 15-feet snowbanks. This weather can change in the next week or so and become quite mild, which would cause a fast melt and would certainly cause some flooding."
River Watch observers hired to watch for ice jams and possible flooding will be equipped with laptops for the first time, allowing them to upload information more quickly and from anywhere.
The data will be shared with other provincial agencies to help with briefings, risk assessments and planning responses.
Last spring, Fredericton residents witnessed some of the heaviest rainfall levels in the province. Almost 60 mm of rain caused many streets in the city to be closed off or submerged.
A brochure has already been prepared to distribute to residents in flood-prone areas, said Tallon.
New Brunswickers who live near rivers, streams and tributaries are urged to be have a 72-hour emergency kit and to have an evacuation plan.