People living near the Nashwaak and Upper Miramichi rivers should be ready for flooding, the Emergency Measures Organization said Thursday.
The EMO is monitoring several ice jams in the province resulting from the recent mild weather and rain. There are three ice jams on the Nashwaak River — at Durham Bridge, below the Tay Bridge and below the MacLaggen Bridge.
One ice jam is on the Upper Miramichi River at Norrad Bridge near Bloomfield.
EMO says these ice jams have the potential to cause rapid water level increases and ice movement.
They are advising people who live nearby to be on alert and call 911 if help is needed to evacuate quickly.
"We just want to stress to people to be aware and be alert because ice jams are unpredictable," said Paul Bradley of the Department of Public Safety.
"Ice can be pretty unpredictable when it moves," he said. "It will potentially jam at locations where it has not in the past."
'We just want to stress to people to be aware and be alert because ice jams are unpredictable.' - Paul Bradley, EMO spokesperson
Bradley cautioned people to stay off ice surfaces.
"People should stay away from the edge of streams, tributaries and rivers because you could be struck by moving ice," he said. "Avoid being on the ice with any recreational vehicles or even avoid standing on the ice because it's very dangerous."
Ene Vahi has lived on the Nashwaak banks for 25 years.
"This is all flooded in through the trees," she said of the area down to the trail near her home.
She said the ice flow had dammed the river down from her house.
"It's never jammed down there before. You just never know from one year to the next how it's going to go."
Two ice jams broken loose
EMO has been watching three ice jams along the Nashwaak River. Two of them have already broken loose. The province was hit on Tuesday by heavy rains and warmer temperatures, creating the ice jams.
In March 2013, an ice jam on the Nashwaak caused localized flooding in Stanley. Residents of 10 homes and one business had to be moved and the village fire hall also flooded.
EMO says it also continues to monitor flooding on Route 101 in Hoyt. Water is rising there and covering the road.
The transportation department has closed Lucy's Gulch Road in the Perth-Andover area. It's located between Route 105 and Route 380. No homes are affected.
The transportation department says the Lucy's Gulch Road road is deteriorating. It will be assessed for possible repair in the spring.
Environment Canada said Thursday that temperatures are forecast to be above freezing in the day and at zero or below at night for the next 24 hours.
River ice conditions are expected to stabilize as stream flows are forecast to steadily decrease in rivers, streams and tributaries, it said.