Residents carry groceries and clothes out of canoes as floodwaters surround a home on Grand Lake in New Brunswick on Tuesday, May 1, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

N.B. officials urge people to evacuate their neighbourhoods as floodwaters rise

The Emergency Measures Organization is urging people to leave certain neighbourhoods in and around Saint John

The Emergency Measures Organization in New Brunswick is urging people to leave certain neighbourhoods in and around Saint John due to rising floodwaters that could surpass record-setting water levels in 1973.

The organization said access to several areas, including Randolph, Westfield Road, Ragged Point Road and Beach Road, is limited and will likely be completely cut off by worsening flooding in a region that stretches from Fredericton to the Saint John area.

Spokesman Geoffrey Downey said Wednesday that while attention has been focused on flooding in Fredericton over the last several days, concern is mounting in several areas south of the capital that are being inundated by the heavy rains and melting snow that have swollen the Saint John River.

“A few of them are looking at flood levels rivalling 1973, which is the worst on record,” he said. “For every community south of Fredericton, we’re asking that they be on high alert, that they consider their property’s flood history and give serious consideration to self evacuation.”

Related: Officials warn B.C. flooding may be worse due to 2017 wildfires

Related: RCMP offer to airlift people trapped by flooding in Cariboo

EMO says the voluntary evacuation notice could affect about 1,900 people in Saint John, who should make their own arrangements or go to the Carleton Community Centre or contact the Canadian Red Cross.

Water levels along the Saint John River are expected to continue to rise through the week, isolating homes and leading to further road closures. NB Power has also turned off electricity to about 104 customers for safety reasons.

Downey said more than 30 homes had been evacuated so far, affecting about 100 people. He expected that number would rise around Saint John and urged people to leave their homes if floodwaters are rising around them, adding that they should take their pets, medications, clothing and identification.

“Doing it in the daylight when you still have dry roads is far easier and safer than having to call someone in the middle of the night because you’ve realized your house is under water and your car is under water and the only way to get out is in a boat,” he said.

Water levels were at about five metres in Saint John and could reach 6.6 metres by Sunday, exceeding the 2008 flood level by over a meter, he said.

EMO says people in southern regions of the Saint John River basin should expect similar or worse conditions than previous floods in communities stretching from Jemseg, Gagetown, Hampstead, Oak Point south to Quispamsis.

Downey said the record for Maugerville was 7.11 metres of water and the forecast is calling for 7.1 metres, while in Jemseg the forecast was for 6.7 metres Thursday which would surpass the record of 6.36 metres in 1973.

There is rain in the forecast and snow in the north, which is expected to make the situation more dire in the coming days. Much of the sitting water also won’t recede quickly, he said, adding that the Fredericton area has been at about eight metres since late last week.

“For a lot of people, the worst is yet to come and it’s not going to be over any time soon,” Downey said.

“Once they reach those levels, they can pretty much count on it remaining that way for days. It doesn’t seem to be a flood that’s going to rise and drop quickly.”

In the Fredericton region, water levels are forecast to remain at their current levels.

Other waterways were also at risk of flooding, including the Nashwaak, Salmon, Middle and Tetagouche rivers, EMO said.

Related: East coast begins massive cleanup after downpours knock out roads, power

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

5 tips for talking to your kids about cannabis

Health officials recommend sharing a harm reduction-related message.

Giants hand Victoria their first loss of the season

Langley’s WHL team went head to head with the Royals for the second day in a row, beating them 3-2.

VIDEO: Rollover closes down Willowbrook Drive in Langley overnight

Mounties are working to find the cause of a crash early Sunday morning on the Langley-Surrey border.

Winning streak comes to end in Victoria for Langley-based Giants

G-Men fell in overtime in first of two games against the Royals on Vancouver Island this weekend.

Cloverdale apartment tenants won’t be ‘renovicted’ after all

Settlement agreement will allow residents to stay in their homes during renovations

Secret supper clubs test appetite for cannabis-infused food ahead of legalization

Chefs are eagerly awaiting pot edibles to become legal in Canada

Private marijuana stores should shut down, Mike Farnworth says

B.C. has approved 62 licences, but they still need local approval

HPV vaccine does not lead to riskier sex among teen girls: UBC

Girls are less likely to have sex now than they were a decade ago

Koreas agree to break ground on inter-Korean railroad

The rival Koreas are holding high-level talks Monday to discuss further engagement amid a global diplomatic push to resolve the nuclear standoff with North Korea.

Flash floods kill at least 7 people in southwest France

Flash floods have left several people dead in southwest France, with roads swept away and streams become raging torrents as the equivalent of several months of rain fell overnight, authorities said Monday.

Trump to visit Florida, Georgia; search ongoing for missing

The death toll from Michael’s destructive march from Florida to Virginia stood at 17.

Canadians widely unaware of accomplishments of famous women, poll suggests

A new poll suggests Canadians have a lot to learn about the accomplishments of some of the country’s most famous women.

5 to start your day

B.C. dad sues province over children on transit, fires in Surrey and more

Temporary access allowed for residents of landslide-threatened B.C. community

The district says areas of access to the community of about 54 homes could be expanded, depending on advice from a geotechnical engineer.

Most Read