New Brunswick

'Scary' floods force Fredericton residents to flee their homes

Many people around McMinniman Court on Fredericton's north side have left their houses as water levels continue to rise.

Some residents around McMinniman Court have water almost to their basement ceiling

One resident and his cats were helped to dry land. (Philip Drost/CBC)

Many people around McMinniman Court on Fredericton's north side have left their houses as water levels continue to rise.

It's the first time 17-year-old Emma Bichon and her family have experienced a major flood, as they've only lived in the neighbourhood a few years. The water in their basement is getting close to the ceiling. 

It's the highest waters have been in Fredericton, N.B., since the 2008 flood.

"It's kind of been really hectic the past couple days," said Bichon. 

Saturday was her first time seeing the whole subdivision submerged in water. She was at school when her parents called her and told her not to come home because the house was flooding. 

Many houses on McMinniman Court are surrounded by water. (Philip Drost/CBC)

"It's kind of scary," said Bichon. 

The family's dogs are out of the house, but the cats are staying put. The basement is unfinished and most of their stuff is stored on racks, but the water came in so quickly and rose to high that they only rescued a few things. 

Familiar territory

Patricia Hughes has lived in the neighbourhood for almost 30 years and said this year's flood is pretty bad. 

Hughes said Friday morning she started to notice water coming into her basement. "It's stressful because it's our house and it's our belongings and that sort of thing, but we're usually pretty prepared for it," said Hughes. 

Patricia Hughes has lived in the area for about 30 years, and is used to spring flooding. (Philip Drost/CBC)

Anyone who wants to walk to their house in the neighbourhood has to use hip waders to make it through the water. Rubber boots won't cut it. 

Many people have decided to stay and the power is still on. 

On Thursday evening, Hughes told her family to pack, as she wasn't sure where the water level would get to on Friday. Hughes said it usually takes a couple days to clean up once the water recedes. 

'Slow down'

Cars driving by McMinniman Court too fast create waves that could damage basement windows and foundations. (Philip Drost/CBC)

People are struggling to drive on McMinniman Court and Riverside Drive. The water is over the road and Hughes said people drive too fast through the water and push waves onto houses. 

"As the waves move, it forces [water] onto the people's property, which can damage the foundation or damage the windows," said Hughes. 

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Philip Drost is a journalist with the CBC. You can reach him on Twitter @phildrost or by email at