New Brunswick

Residents along bloated St. John River advised to remain on alert

Residents near the St. John River should stay on alert over the next few days as water levels remain at or above flood levels along many stretches, the New Brunswick Emergency Organization says.

River expected to hit 6-metre flood stage, according to Chief Jody Price of Oromocto Fire Department

A truck plows through flood waters on Route 105 near Maugerville. (Catherine Harrop/CBC)

Residents near the St. John River should stay on alert over the next few days, with water levels remaining at or above flood level along many stretches, the New Brunswick Emergency Organization says.

"It's no secret that the river has been up and down," said Greg MacCallum, the director of New Brunswick EMO. "Even a cursory glance at it right now will tell you that our river systems are pretty full."

After recent rainy days, the organization is expecting relief over the next two days and is hoping water levels will drop before more rain falls this weekend.

In Madawaska County, the EMO is advising residents of Saint-Jacques to move "valuable belongings from basements to higher levels in their homes" because of increased water levels of the Madawaska River.

"There have already been instances of people  reporting flooding in basements and water around their homes. So this obviously is of concern," said MacCallum.

Flooding in Maugerville

The St. John River is expected to hit flood stage, according to Oromocto Fire Chief Jody Price.

Price said the river is almost at flood stage now, so it won't take much to exceed it.

"I believe we're at 5.9 [metres] and we're going to 6.0 in Maugerville, which is flood stage," said Price. 

"That's quite concerning."

Environment Canada is calling for more rain over the weekend, and if the rain is significant, it will cause more flooding problems.

"If that happens in the upper river basin above Mactaquac, that's definitely going to raise the river and cause us a lot of issues," said Price.

Price said residents living in the area are well prepared for flood waters, and he doesn't expect they'll be forced out of their homes unless water reaches levels seen in the past.

"We would need to see a flood of those magnitudes, like what we've seen in 2005 and 2008, before we'd actually start to look at moving people out," said Price.

There are road restrictions on Route 105 in the Maugerville-Burton Bridge area, with residents needing a special pass to drive along the river.

These restrictions will remain until the water goes down, Price said, and "we see a forecast that's showing us no possibility of rains for a good extended time."

With files from Information Morning Fredericton and Catherine Harrop