New Brunswick

Homeowners around Grand Lake assess damage after heavy waves

Residents in the Grand Lake area had to contend with heavy winds and waves Saturday, which caused further damage to many homes in the area.

Water levels are forecast to stabilize and recede in the next few days

Some homes in the Grand Lake area have been damaged by heavy waves and ice. (Radio-Canada)

Residents in the Grand Lake area had to contend with heavy winds and waves Saturday that caused further damage to many homes in the area.

Homeowners have said the water isn't as high as 2018, but this year's flood has brought more wind and ice, creating stronger waves.

Druscilla Shirley, a resident on the western shore of Grand Lake, said her home is cut off from the community of Newcastle Centre. She's been stuck in her neighbourhood for a week. 

Druscilla Shirley is stuck in her flooded neighbourhood because she can't make it down an old mining road with her car. (Shane Fowler/CBC)

Shirley said there's a back road she can use to leave her neighbourhood, but she can't get through it with her car.

Her cousin has been bringing supplies and water to her by driving his SUV down an old muddy road, she said.

"It's not too bad really, as long as we have enough supplies," Shirley said. "Sometimes you're here for a week and don't go anywhere, but being told you can't makes a difference."

Randy Betts, a Minto resident who was in the Grand Lake area to help a friend, said the water is beginning to recede.

"It dropped a lot in the last couple of days," Betts said. "There's less damage than I thought there was."

Betts said people seemed more prepared for the flood this year compared to last year.

Randy Betts said the water is beginning to recede in his neighbourhood. (Shane Fowler/CBC)

Water levels in Grand Lake are forecast to stabilize and recede in the coming days, dropping to 5.7 metres by Friday. The flood stage in Grand Lake is 5.0 metres.

Some parts of Grand Lake saw waves of more than a metre yesterday, said Geoffrey Downey, spokesperson for the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization.

"It's a reminder that things can change quickly," Downey said. "Even if the water does drop, if all the sudden you get very high winds again, things can become very dangerous."

Greg MacCallum, director of the New Brunswick EMO, said there is one report of a cottage in the Grand Lake area that was knocked from its foundation by waves. MacCallum said there were inaccurate reports that several homes were floating in the floodwaters.

Water levels in Grand Lake are expected to stabilize before dropping to 5.7 metres on Friday. (Radio-Canada)

"I think perhaps that people misunderstood that some of the debris they saw in the watercourses was outbuildings and that sort of thing," MacCallum said.

He said there will be another air reconnaissance today to get a better sense of the property damage in the Grand Lake area.

Emergency crews, the military and coast guard are continuing patrols by boat, conducting wellness checks and assisting with evacuations.

With files from Angela Bosse and Shane Fowler

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