New Brunswick

'One man can't do it alone': Community to clean up farmer's flood-ravaged fields

A small community south of Fredericton is banding together to help a farmer whose fields were damaged by a severe winter storm.

Dairy farmer Kevin Conroy’s fields were severely damaged by flash floods in January

Farmer Kevin Conroy's fields were damaged in flash floods in January, but a community cleanup is being held to help him out. (Shane Fowler/CBC News)

Kevin Conroy was facing the seemingly endless and costly task of restoring the fields at his dairy farm in Hoyt that was severely damaged by flash floods in January.

The small community about 55 kilometres south of Fredericton was among the hardest-hit areas when severe weather pummelled the province, knocking out power and causing floods.

The flooding during the January storm. (Debbie McCann/Facebook)

Heavy rocks, garbage and a forest of downed trees remain strewn across Conroy's field nearly three months later, but the debris won't last.

Heavy rocks are strewn about the flood-damaged fields. (Shane Fowler/CBC News)

Community cleanup

The community of Hoyt has banded together to help clean up the fields. People from the area will be bringing trucks and chainsaws to assist Conroy, a relative newcomer. He moved to Hoyt from Ontario about 3½ years ago.

"There's been a lot of people stopping in, talking and asking about it," Conroy said. "The neighbours are excellent. I don't know a lot about it, but we're just going at it and start cleaning it up."

Kevin Conroy was frustrated to see the extent of the damage. (Shane Fowler/CBC News)

Conroy said it was frustrating to see so much damage, adding that his main hay field is a "disaster."

Debris litters the fields of Conroy's dairy farm three months after the damaging storm. (Shane Fowler/CBC News)

"Between the buildings and the land, it's a lot of money," he said. "A lot of money. And we're going day by day."

Debbie McCann is helping to organize the cleanup, set for Tuesday and Thursday evening and all day Saturday.

Debbie McCann helped organize the cleanup. (Shane Fowler/CBC News)

"I have never seen the debris in the fields this bad since I've been around, and I've been around a long time," she said.

Former farmer Wayne Kirkpatrick said he wants to lend a hand.

Former farmer Wayne Kirkpatrick said he would want help if he were in Conroy's shoes. (Shane Fowler/CBC News)

"If it were me, I'd sure like somebody to come out and give me a hand because one man can't do it alone."

With files from Shane Fowler