New Brunswick

Gagetown exceeds flood level, but serious flooding in province not expected this year

When the waters of the St. John River hit four metres above sea level in Gagetown they’re considered at flood level.

Forecast from river monitors is promising, premier says

The village of Gagetown has exceeded flood stage, but the province forecasts that waters won't go much higher, at least for now. (Shane Fowler/CBC News)

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." 

Gagetown Mayor Mike Blaney says he's cautiously optimistic there won't be a flood. (Shane Fowler/CBC news)

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. 

Waters in Gagetown have slightly exceeded flood stage, but according to Mayor Mike Blaney there hasn't been any damage to personal property yet, and as far as he knows there is no water in anyone's basement. (Shane Fowler/CBC News)

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." 

On Thursday afternoon Premier Blaine Higgs stated the province wasn't expecting widespread flooding in the foreseeable future. (Edwin Hunter/CBC News)

It's a far cry from the devastating flooding the province endured the last two years. 

In spring 2018 and spring 2019 record-level flooding of the St. John River led to catastrophic damage to homes and cottages along the river valley. 

About the Author

Shane Fowler

Reporter

Shane Fowler has been a CBC journalist based in Fredericton since 2013.

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