N.B. officials warn of more flooding due to 35-km-long ice mass
River systems in N.B., P.E.I. jammed up
Rising water levels across parts of flood-ravaged New Brunswick continue to cause problems during the spring melt, as people in P.E.I. also deal with their own water woes.
New Brunswick's public safety department issued an advisory Friday night warning residents in the communities of Perth-Andover and Tobique First Nation to brace for possible flooding because of a 35-kilometre-long mass of ice moving down the St. John River.
An ice jam below Perth-Andover in Muniac, combined with the ice mass, could cause flood levels in Perth-Andover to be as serious as two years ago, the River Watch notice said.
River Watch 2014 Advisory
New Brunswick residents in need of assistance or accommodation can go to the Perth-Andover Middle School at 20 Nissen St. or call the Red Cross at 1-800-222-9597. If they opt to stay with friends or family, they are still encouraged to register with the Red Cross.
For more information, visit the New Brunswick Department of Public Safety's website.
"If this ice mass reaches that jam and stops, there is a strong likelihood water will back up into the communities of Perth-Andover and Tobique First Nation," the public advisory said.
"If this scenario plays out, it is very likely flood levels at Perth-Andover will reach levels [of] those in 2012," the statement adds.
New Brunswick's Emergency Measures Organization asked residents to follow an evacuation order in the area.
On Thursday night, two women who got too close to the rising waters had to be rescued after their car went into the St. John River near Oromocto, N.B.
Jody Price, Oromocto’s fire chief, credits a quick-thinking 911 operator with saving the women.
“[The operator], very quickly, got bits and pieces of the conversation they had. ‘The Oromocto wharf. Car. People in it. Sinking,’ and then the phone went dead. The dispatcher dispatched ourselves, RCMP Oromocto and Ambulance New Brunswick,” he said.
Luckily the women were able to get off the sinking vehicle and swim to shore. The two were treated for hypothermia and taken to hospital. Strong currents prevented rescue officials from getting the car out of the river.
Heavy rains and warmer temperatures caused a rapid rise in water levels across New Brunswick and P.E.I. and ice jams due to snow-pack melting and ice-cover deterioration in several river systems.
Ice jams moving downstream
Three ice jams in Doaktown, N.B., that river watchers are keeping an eye on have the potential to cause further flooding problems if the massive amounts of ice come together blocking the flow.
Doaktown and Perth-Andover remain under a voluntary evacuation order with people going door to door in the low-lying floodplain areas advising people about the water levels.
Officials hope ice and water coming downstream from the Grand Falls area don’t cause more problems.
The provincial service River Watch is warning those already hit by floods not to let their guard down yet as conditions could get worse.
In Sussex — one of the areas hardest hit by flooding — residents continue to pump water out of their basements. On McLean Street, nearly every home had a pile of drenched and muddy furniture and home items Friday.
Health and safety teams were inspecting homes that had been evacuated in the Sussex area to determine if they are safe for residents to return.
Parts of P.E.I. see worst floods in years
In the Maugerville area, waters levels are starting to stabilize, but there's still a fair amount of water on the roads, so roadblocks remain up.
Near Sheffield, Lakeville Corner, Jemseg and Grand Lake areas, there has been some rise in the waters.
Route 690 is now covered with water and has been closed to traffic.
In Alberton, P.E.I., people are clearing out flooded basements and at least one road in the community is covered in water. People in the Alberton area say it’s the worst flooding they’ve ever seen.
However, the situation is a big improvement from Wednesday. The province was forced to close roads across P.E.I. due to dangerous flood conditions.