New Brunswick

Army feeling the love as floodwaters persist

Members of the Canadian Armed Forces sent to help New Brunswickers deal with record-breaking floods say they've been welcomed with open arms.

250 soldiers, light armoured vehicles are deployed to help people cope with high St. John River

250 soldiers have been deployed to assist with flood relief. (Jonathan Collicott/CBC)

Members of the Canadian Armed Forces sent to help New Brunswickers deal with record-breaking floods say they've been welcomed with open arms.

The army was called in to help with flood preparations along the St. John River last week as waters started to climb.

Sgt. Michel Allain, a section commander with the forces, said his crew responded to a call for assistance on Fredericton's south side as water quickly rose Wednesday morning.

"There was already a foundation there," said Allain.

"We came [and] we added on. Then there were a couple of other houses that we helped put sandbags, just to block off windows and help them out with doorways."

Fredericton resident Bob Leonard, who lives in the area where Allain's section was helping, said the water rose a lot Tuesday night.

"It was a bit surprising, and we had put a couple of markers out," said Leonard. 

The big guns

Along Grand Lake, the army deployed light armoured vehicles to assist with any potential rescue operations.

"[They can] work with any of the emergency services to gain access to any places that were cut off," said Lt.-Col. Sean French, commander of the 2nd Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment based at Gagetown.

Lt.-Col. Sean French, commander of the 2nd Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment based at Gagetown, said the army deployed light armoured vehicles to assist with any potential rescue operations Tuesday night. (Shane Fowler/CBC)

"Our vehicles can traverse deeper water in those areas."

French said 250 soldiers are assisting with the flood.

'So far, so good'

Thanks to the sandbags and multiple water pumps, Leonard's basement now has only two to three inches of water in it.

And he said the water around his property started to drop around 9 a.m.

"So far, so good," he said.

“We’ve been welcomed with open arms,” Sergeant Michel Allain, a section commander with the forces. (Shane Fowler/CBC)

Allain said this will be his third day helping out and he's still feeling the love.

"They love that we're here," said Allain. "It's giving them hope.

"We've been welcomed with open arms."

With files from Shane Fowler

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