New Brunswick

'We've got enough going on': Maugerville residents discover nails on flooded roads

Maugerville residents have faced flooding and looting. Now, they're being warned to be on the lookout for handfuls of roofing nails scattered on water-covered roads.

Evacuated homes have faced looting, now motorists are coping with flat tires caused by scattered roofing nails

Holly Ladds says these nails she picked up are 'nothing compared to how many have been picked up' by others along Route 105 from the edge of Fredericton through Maugerville in recent days. (Submitted)

Maugerville residents have faced flooding and looting. Now they're being warned to be on the lookout for handfuls of roofing nails scattered on water-covered roads.

Chief Jody Price of the Oromocto Fire Department confirmed it's a problem in the area, about 20 kilometres downriver from Fredericton.

Some people have wound up with flat tires, he said. And traffic has been slower than usual because word about the nails is getting out.

Holly Ladds has been doing her part to help spread the word. She posted a notice about it on the Facebook group, Maugerville's Flood Watch 2018.

"Watch the road everyone, no one needs a flat, we've got enough going on."

Oromocto fire Chief Jody Price said motorists have been slowing down because they want to avoid flat tires. (Pierre Alexandre Bolduc/Radio-Canada)

Ladds said she and her boyfriend were driving at night in the lower St. Mary's area when they came upon something "shiny" in the middle of the road.

At first, they thought it might be broken glass, she told CBC News. 

"We weren't quite sure," so they just kept driving, she said.

But then they came across "another pile" and stopped to see what it was.That's when the realized it was roofing nails.

What is wrong with people?- Patsy Osborne, citizen

They picked up as many as they could, "but there are tons more everywhere," she warned on Facebook.

Ladds said they reported it to police officers who were at a nearby flood barricade and a street sweeper was brought in.

But on Monday, Sonya Chapple and her husband Keith picked up "a whole bunch more," using a magnet on a string.

"We think we got them all," Chapple posted on Facebook. "Thanks to the people who stopped and helped."

Sonya Chapple said she found all of these roofing nails littering the streets on Monday. (Facebook/Sonya Chapple)

Sad and angry

"It's crazy," said Ladds, who's convinced the nails are being deliberately scattered on roads, particularly after hearing reports about a girl finding some more of them by the Maugerville Community Center.

"I don't know why somebody would even want to do it."

Her boyfriend has managed to avoid a flat tire so far, "thank gosh," but her neighbour's truck got three flat tires, she said.

The situation has sparked outrage on social media.

"What is wrong with people?" wrote Patsy Osborne.

"Haven't people got enough trouble?" asked Connie Power.

Residents have been dealing with flooding for more than a week and the community is expected to remain more than a metre above flood stage until the weekend.

A Radio-Canada reporter observed these roofing nails next to the Irving in St. Marys on Monday. (Pierre Alexandre Bolduc/Radio-Canada)

As of Tuesday, water levels in Maugerville stood at 7.15 metres, down from around 7.4 on Monday.

The flooding has forced many people to evacuate their homes, including Markus Harvey's family. He stayed behind to keep an eye on his house, which is surrounded by floodwater, and was jolted awake early Sunday by the sound of people rummaging around inside.

The intruders fled in a red canoe, he said.

Three men were charged Monday in connection with alleged looting and remain remanded until court appearances later this week.

Travis Hunt, 29, of Maugerville, Brandon Hatchard, 29, of Perth-Andover and Chance Leslie, 25, of Middle Hainsville are each charged with break and enter and possession of stolen property. Leslie faces a third charge of breach of probation.

Crystal Manuel said she is "sad and frankly angry."

Ladds is trying to stay positive. For the most part, the community has really "come together," she said.

"[We] help out each other as much as we can and get things done."

With files from Pierre Alexandre Bolduc and Shift