Gagetown exceeds flood level, but serious flooding in province not expected this year
Forecast from river monitors is promising, premier says
When the waters of the St. John River hit four metres above sea level in Gagetown they're considered to be at flood level.
As of Thursday afternoon, they were at 4.4 metres.
And that's where they're expected to stay until at least Friday, with slight decreases expected on Saturday and Sunday, and level of 3.9 metres projected by Tuesday.
"Everyone is waiting with bated breath," said Mike Blaney, mayor of the village about 60 kilometres southeast of Fredericton. "I know that the forecast over the next three to four days is indicating it's going to decrease, and so that is at least something to give everybody hope."
Blaney said he's feeling "cautiously optimistic." There's no water in anyone's basement yet, and no damage to personal property.
He's hoping this will be as high as the water gets.
"It can change at the drop of a hat," said Blaney. "Weather systems come and go quickly."
"All we can do is cross our fingers and hope that the current projections play out as they are," he said.
Besides Gagetown, the province's Emergency Measures Organization is singling out two other communities to watch, Saint-Hilaire in the northwest, and Jemseg, not far from Gagetown, were expected to "slightly exceed" flood levels on Thursday and Friday, respectively.
At the province's daily coronavirus briefing Thursday, Premier Blaine Higgs called the outlook on flooding this spring "good news."
"The flood forecast continues to look promising," said Higgs. "The situation can change quickly, but right now we are seeing that a serious risk of widespread flooding is not in the foreseeable future."
It's a far cry from the devastating flooding the province endured the last two years.