water_woes050501

In some areas, the only way to get around was by canoe.

Water levels have begun to recede in some parts of New Brunswick, but water overflowing the banks of the St. John River are still keeping many people trapped in their homes.

The floods, which began last week between Fredericton and Saint John, have severely flooded basements, forced dozens of people from their homes, closed roads and caused thousands of dollars of damage.

On Monday, flooding receded in the northern and middle sections of the St. John River Valley.

But water levels continued to rise south and east of Fredericton, with forecasters warning they would increase until Tuesday in Jemseg and the Grand Lake area.

Further downstream, water levels are expected to rise in Long Reach, the Kennebecasis Bay and the north end of Saint John.

roads_flooded050501

Water levels in the Jemseg area and further downstream are expected to increase.

The Red Cross says about 45 people were forced out of their homes in one area and may not be able to return for another day or two.

A long section of highway about halfway between Fredericton and Saint John could remain blocked for several days due to high water.

Many families remain stranded in their homes, with their only access roads covered in water.

One woman, who lives on the shores of Grand Lake, said she has been stuck there since Saturday.

"We are sandwiched in between a no-pass zone, which is basically right in front of our place, Princess Park, which is not passable, and Sypher's Cove, which is not passable. So we are basically on an island."

The woman said at least 50 of her neighbours are in the same situation.

She said she and her husband have a canoe and enough supplies to last until the water goes back down.

Further downriver, people who live on Darlings Island are also stranded.

The access roads to their community are covered in water and transportation crews have put up barriers to prevent people from trying to drive across.

The ferry between Millidgeville and the Kingston Peninsula was taken out of service on Monday because of high water.

The St. John River's level at Fredericton peaked at 7.7 metres above sea level on Friday before dropping to 7.35 metres on Sunday morning.

It was expected to drop to 7.2 metres on Monday and about 7.0 metres by Tuesday.

The official "flood stage" in Fredericton occurs when water rises over 6.5 metres above sea level.

Scores of homeowners are reporting damages running into the thousands of dollars.

Water levels haven't been so high since 1979.