People in Ramea — including the mayor — are scratching their heads over the unusual water levels that spilled over part of the shoreline into the community on the weekend.

"I spoke to the captain of the ferry and the harbour was almost like a river with eddies and whirlpools that you could see in the water, which was quite strange," said Mayor Clyde Dominie.

Dominie mused the extreme rise and fall of the water levels, and the unusual water patterns, are due to a tidal bore — a phenomenon that looks as if a wave of water is travelling upstream. Moncton has ridden a wave of success as the tidal bore there draws surfers and spectators to the region. 

Dominie said a tidal bore occurring near the small island community in southern Newfoundland is "not strange" in itself, but this one was different.

"The tidal bore came in at high tide form 3 to 4 p.m. and at the peak it must have been three to five feet higher than what you would normally expect on such a day," he told CBC's Corner Brook Morning Show

"One part of town ... it's like a basin. And there the water came in and was rushing out, you'd almost think it was a river as opposed to being in a harbour."

Ramea tidal bore

Fishing stages bore the brunt of the rising water. (Submitted by Marv Lushman)

Dominie said water crested onto the fishing stages and one homeowner reported basement flooding, but that's the extent of the damage.

That's a relief, although Dominie is welcoming any official explanations.

"Other than the normal, old currents, I'm not sure if anyone has any idea, if it's something to do with global warming ... or if there is an underwater effect of some kind that we're certainly not aware of," he said.

"It's pretty strange, let's put it that way."

Water woes

Ramea is no stranger to water problems. In 2016, the community declared a state of emergency after a storm surge dumped salt water in the municipal water system, leaving the water unfit to drink for two months. 

Dominie said what happened this past weekend isn't like the "huge wave event that occurred last year," but the anxiety related to high water levels doesn't really dissipate.

Ramea tidal bore

Ramea residents saw high water levels on the weekend. (Sarah Sibley/Facebook)

"When you see [the water] reach a certain level, it comes to mind, 'Oh my goodness is this as bad as it's going to get or is it going to get worse?'" he said.

"It's certainly always a concern."

With files from Corner Brook Morning Show