New Brunswick

Hurricane Arthur: New Brunswick battens down the hatches

Hurricane Arthur is expected to bring heavy rains and high winds to parts of New Brunswick as the storm advances into the Maritimes this weekend.

Southwestern New Brunswick is expected to receive the most rain

Hurricane Arthur is expected to bring heavy rains and high winds to parts of New Brunswick as the storm advances into the Maritimes this weekend.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre predicts Arthur will be downgraded to a strong post-tropical storm when its effects are felt in the Maritimes on Saturday.

Cancellations in New Brunswick can be tracked throughout the day Saturday at CBC's Storm Centre.

The hurricane centre says there is a tropical storm watch on for portions of southern and eastern New Brunswick.

The region can expect winds of 65 km/h with gusts to 90 km/h. As well, heavy rainfall is in the forecast for all of New Brunswick.

Environment Canada predicts some parts of the province could receive 75 to 100 millimetres of rain, while others could see rainfall exceed 150 mm.

"The region most likely to see the heaviest rainfall amounts from this storm is over southwestern New Brunswick," Environment Canada said in a statement.

Residents in coastal communities are also being cautioned as storm surges are also possible.

"Higher-than-normal water levels are expected due to storm surge along the Acadian coastline late in the day Saturday," according to Environment Canada.

"Heavy downpours are likely to cause flash floods and water pooling on roads."

New Brunswick’s Emergency Management Organization is warning citizens to be prepared for Hurricane Arthur as the storm approaches the Maritimes.

It recommends that everyone have a plan in place to protect their family, pets, livestock and property. People should also stock up on food, water, medication, batteries and other necessities.

“Weather conditions will be monitored and updates posted as needed,” the province’s Emergency Measures Organization stated on Thursday.

Here we go again

The MacFarlanes in Saint Stephen are getting ready for what could be their third flood in the past four years alone.

John MacFarlane says last year the water in their basement reached 26 inches.

In 2010, they had about 1.5 metres.

They say part of the problem, is that culverts, drainage systems and the nearby brook are all managed by different agencies and companies.

Saint Stephen Mayor John Quartermain said his town is doing its best.

"We have five full time staff in our fire department and there's a fire chief in addition to that. They'll be at the ready," he said.

But Quartermain, says he admits the city's drainage system is too old and he's waiting for money from the province and Ottawa to help improve it.

Bracing for the storm

New Brunswick communities are already planning to deal with the approaching storm.

Moncton issued a statement on Friday saying that city crews will be on stand-by over the weekend to respond to any localized flooding, fallen trees or other storm-related issues.

The Canadian Red Cross has placed many of its disaster volunteers on notice in case emergency management authorities in any of the Atlantic provinces require help, such as running reception centres or shelters.

“We hope Arthur’s impacts are minimal and our services are not needed at all, but we have volunteers ready to support any requests that may come our way from civic authorities,”  said Rhonda Kenney, Atlantic director of disaster management with the Canadian Red Cross.

New Brunswick Power's Point Lepreau generating station is following its severe weather emergency procedures, which call for the plant to shutdown if conditions warrant it.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has staff on site at the facility, who have already verified that all the necessary precautions have been taken.

"While the city does not expect major storm damage, various city services are on alert to plan, monitor and respond to any emergencies," the statement said.

Moncton residents are being asked to report any signs of flooding or other problems so that city crews can be dispatched to fix any issues. 

Fredericton's Emergency Measures Organization is also monitoring the storm and issued a public advisory on Friday. 

"Heavy rains and high winds are expected for the Fredericton area. City crews have checked out catch basins and taken precautions to secure the Regent Street Wharf," according to the city's statement.


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