PERTH-ANDOVER (GNB) – A flood mitigation plan, which includes a relocation and flood-proofing program, was announced today for the Perth-Andover and Tobique First Nation region by Environment and Local Government Minister Bruce Fitch.

The announcement follows the release of a mitigation study and an earlier announcement of interim mitigation measures to help both communities recover from the 2012 flood.

“Protection from future flooding and property damage of this magnitude has been a priority for our government since the day that Perth-Andover and the Tobique First Nation were affected by flooding,” said Fitch. “The measures announced today and the efforts undertaken since day one demonstrate that commitment. There was no quick fix and no easy answers, and that is why we took the time required to properly evaluate the study provided by the Flood Mitigation Group. We are now moving forward with action that will have a lasting impact on the safety of area residents.”

The plan includes:

●    $360,000 to backfill a low area of River Street and to construct a small levee on Pit Road to protect properties from future damage;
●    $300,000 to upgrade a 0.8 km stretch of trail to allow emergency vehicles access to the Hotel-Dieu Hospital in Perth-Andover when high water events occur;
●    $50,000 for ice jam modelling; and
●    up to $8-million for a relocation and flood-proofing program for homes most significantly impacted by the 2012 flood. Each property will be assessed individually.

Office space has been made available at the Service New Brunswick centre, 1123 West Riverside Dr., Perth-Andover, to co-ordinate the government’s efforts in the coming days. A toll-free number has also been set-up to allow residents to get information and to book appointments with the co-ordinator, 1-855-444-2654.

The plan also includes measures previously announced:

●    $1 million for localized flood management from specific watercourses (Tibbitts Brook and McLaughlin Brook);
●    $1.45 million to stabilize the north bank of the Tobique River and the east bank of the St. John River to reduce future erosion and increase the stability of homes located on the banks;
●    an initial investment of $400,000 to enhance monitoring and forecasting capacity to provide real-time flow and water level monitoring; and risk assessments of ice break-up, movement and ice jam formation;
●    beginning with the 2013 season, the ice jam location map will be updated and available on the New Brunswick River Watch website;
●    inundation maps specific to the Tobique First Nation and Village of Perth-Andover will provide an illustration of the areas within these communities that are potentially vulnerable; and
●    further initiatives designed to increase awareness and education, emergency and land use planning will be pursued.  

These measures come in addition to the nearly 200 claims for disaster financial assistance totalling $5-million the provincial government processed and paid out in the weeks following the flood.

“This file and the development of this plan has been our number one priority since receiving the Mitigation Group's study,” said Fitch. “Together with Victoria-Tobique MLA Wes McLean and Tobique-Mactaquac MP Mike Allen, we recognize that these measures will benefit the people from the area not only for today, next spring or next year, but for a lifetime.”

LINK:

●    Department of Environment and Local Government