Road closures, washouts plague Moncton and southeast region
Motorist rescued after driving into hole left by bridge washout in Ste-Marie-de-Kent
The pounding rain that parts of the province have experienced in the last day has caused many road closures, primarily in the southeast.
Many roads across southeastern New Brunswick have been closed or reduced to one lane.
Dana Arbeau lives in Westbrook Circle, a Moncton neighbourhood that floods regularly. Arbeau said the flooding came quickly and was a surprise.
"It started out with a little trickle there we were baking cookies and enjoying the Christmas tree and within five minutes there was a couple of feet of water," Arbeau.
Jennifer Hachey, a neighbour of Arbeau's, had more than a metre of water in her basement.
She has a giant pump on her front lawn with a hose leading to her basement. She said she had three sump pumps going last night until one burned out.
Don McCabe, Moncton's deputy fire chief, said crews could barely keep up with the water entering basements of homes in the city.
Roads in many rural communities were also blocked or damaged by the rain.
Road washouts were also reported on Rive-Sud Road in the Cocagne area, and Zack Road just past Stellar Street.
Near Saint John, Tynemouth Creek Road off Route 825 was flooded.
About 90 minutes later, resident Terry Girourard noticed lights coming from the brook in a hole about 20-feet wide and 15-feet deep where the bridge used to be.
"It's a big friggin' hole in the, a big hole in the road now," Girourard told Maritime Noon on Thursday.
"When I walked there, there was a van in there and the guy was trying to get out."
A truck from the Department of Transportation arrived on the scene at the same time as Girourard.
"This guy was standing on a piece of pavement that was on the bottom, but the water was gushing all around it."
Girourard and the transportation department worker threw the man a chain and hauled him out of the hole.
"I would say he was in danger because he couldn't get out of there himself," said Girourard.
"He was very shaken up."
Power outages declining
By 1:30, NB Power was reporting the number of homes and businesses had been reduced to about 3,900. That was down from 8,588 early Thursday morning and Wednesday's peak of about 11,000.
The Tracadie area was reporting 1,438 outages while Fredericton had 200 outages and the Bathurst area was reporting 123 homes and businesses without electrical service.
NB Power says it expects to have 99 per cent of storm-affected customers back on line by tonight.
Northeastern New Brunswick could be in for another 30 millimetres of rain on Thursday and strong east to northeast wind, according to CBC meteorologist Peter Coade.
Some northern areas received up to 60 centimetres of snow on Wednesday.
Rainfall amounts for the northwest will range from 15 mm to 25 mm, while southeastern New Brunswick may see another 15 mm, he says.
Only about 5 mm of rain is expected today in the southwest.
This is the second day of significant rain for the province. The unofficial rainfall amounts as of 7 p.m. on Wednesday were:
- Grand Manan: 112 mm
- Fundy Park: 81.7 mm
- Bouctouche: 88.6 mm
- Doaktown: 74.3 mm
- Kouchibouguac: 84.2 mm
- Miramichi: 60 mm, in addition to 20 cm of snow earlier
- Fredericton: 44.9 mm
When overnight rainfall totals were included, amounts exceeded 100 mm in Kouchibouguac and approached that in some other areas.