New Brunswick

New flood map shows thousands of homes affected along St. John River

About 5,501 homes along the St. John River flooded or were at risk of flooding this year, according to a report from Statistics Canada.

The numbers in report are estimates and likely to change in coming months

Water rescue authorities provide flood relief to victims stranded in their New Brunswick home. (Sgt. Lance Wade/5th Canadian Division)

About 5,500 homes along the St. John River flooded or were at risk of flooding this year, according to Statistics Canada.

That wasn't all.

Around 17,500 dwellings were affected or at risk of flooding in southern Manitoba, the Ottawa-Gatineau region, the Saint-Marthe-sur-le-Lac region of Quebec and Fredericton-Saint John region.

"These kind of weather events do not have light consequences," said Tim Werschler, assistant director of Statistics Canada.

"There are people's lives affected. There's property affected and it's not inexpensive."

The report, Impact of spring flooding in key areas across Canada, was produced to help Canadians better understand the scope and impacts of spring flooding, said Werschler.

"I know I'm from Manitoba and I've experienced lots of floods in my youth and adulthood growing up there, and I thought this would be a good chance to broaden out some discussion on the flooding."

This map shows the extent of flooding in the Fredericton-Saint John region from April 22 to April 27. The information for this map was provided by Emergency Geomatics Services and Natural Resources Canada. (Submitted by Statistics Canada)

Of 10 municipalities in New Brunswick and Quebec, Fredericton had the second highest number of homes affected, or at risk of being affected, by flooding at 1,374 of 26,267 homes.

Saint-Marthe-sur-le-Lac had the most homes affected by flooding at 1,745 of 6,877 homes.

Nearly 6,000 homes in the Ottawa-Gatineau region were flooded or at risk of flooding.

The Fredericton-Saint John region had the largest flooded area (383 square kilometres) and had the most kilometres of roads flooded or at risk of flooding (238 kilometres of road).

Area residents are ferried to their homes in Darlings Island, N.B. in April. The area is cut off when the Kennebecasis River, a tributary of the Saint John River, rises above the road leading to the community. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

It's easy to construct roads alongside rivers and lakes, but doing so leaves them vulnerable to impacts of flooding, Werschler said.

"Actually, in the case of New Brunswick, the roads were kind of pound-for-pound substantially more impacted."

The numbers in the report are estimates and likely to change in the coming months, however.

Tim Werschler is an assistant director with the agency's Statistical Geomatics Centre. His team has released a report, detailing the areas affected by the high water to better understand the extent of the flooding, and to help communities with relief efforts. 8:07

"We don't want to vastly overestimate or underestimate the dwellings that were affected, and the best data of course are available from the people who are working on the ground, the agencies on the ground who are literally going door-to-door."

With files from Shift


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