Severe flooding in the community of Stanley, N.B. has partially subsided but the threat from an ice jam in the Nashwaak River remains.

A thick layer of ice is blocking a portion of the river in the community, located about 40 kilometres north of Fredericton.

Shawn Sampson, the town’s fire chief, said it’s only a matter of time before it breaks free.

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A thick layer of ice is blocking a portion of the Nashwaak River in the community of Stanley, located about 40 kilometres north of Fredericton. (CBC)

"Well, when the threat of it lets go, there's a lot, a lot of force behind that, not only will it leave the river, there's potentially some homes that could be in harm's way. We also have two bridges that will be in that path and that would basically cripple the community if we don't have them or they're unusable," he said.

"The fire hall has over three feet of water in front of it ... we need a boat to get to the fire hall."

As a precaution about 35 people were cleared out from their homes on Thursday.

At least one family has returned since the evacuation. The fire hall in Stanley remains unusable with water blocking the entrance.