FREDERICTON (GNB) – River Watch 2014 issued an ice movement and flood warning today at 4:30 p.m.

Environment Canada is forecasting below-freezing temperatures overnight and a return to seasonal temperatures of warm days and cold nights for the next 48 hours with trace amounts of precipitation. Water levels are forecast to increase steadily over the next 24 hours and peak sometime Thursday, April 17.

Warm temperatures combined with rain and snow overnight has resulted today in localized flooding in many areas of the province. There has been significant ice movement in many waterways over the past 24 hours. This has led to multiple road closures, mostly limited to secondary roads.

Regional Emergency Operation Centres have been opened in Oromocto, Oak Bay and Saint John.

There has been a significant impact in the Village of Sussex Corner, which has declared a state of local emergency, and in the Town of Sussex. Emergency Operations Centres have been established in both these communities. Residents can call these centres for local information:

●    Sussex Corner - 506-433-5184.
●    Sussex - 506-432-4540.

Some evacuations have taken place and a reception centre has been opened at Kingswood University, 26 Western St., Sussex.

There are still a number of ice jams in various rivers and additional ice jams and ice movement are expected.

Currently ice jams are located on the Middle River, near Bathurst, four jams on the Southwest Miramichi, three jams on the Nashwaak River, the Tobique River and three on the main St. John River; below Woodstock, between Woodstock and Hartland and upstream of Baker Brook.

This is a continuously changing situation and people are asked to continue to be on alert for ice movement and rising water levels.

Other areas of concern

●    Water levels on the Upper St. John River could approach flood stage (154.1 meters) in Clair on Thursday, however flooding may also occur due to ice movement and ice jamming.
●    In the lower St. John River, Fredericton reached flood stage today and is forecast to remain at flood stage Thursday.
●    Also in the lower St. John River, Maugerville is approaching flood stage at 5.7 metres today and flood stage 6.0 on Thursday.

Safety information

●    People living or working along streams, tributaries and rivers should be on the alert for ice movement and the possibility of ice-jam formation resulting in rapid water-level increases.
●    A change in weather conditions could lead to flooding in areas where drainage systems are blocked by ice and snow.
●    Individuals living or working in areas that are prone to flooding should remain aware and take proper precautions to safeguard their homes and possessions.
●    Because of the deterioration of ice covers it is now unsafe to cross waterways on foot, snowmobiles and ATVs.
●    Residents should avoid using boats or kayaks on open water as currents are fast, may be carrying debris and the water is cold.
●    Residents are advised to review their personal flood plan and have an emergency kit on hand.
●    If rising water is in contact with, or is expected to come into contact with, electrical facilities, including receptacles, call NB Power at 1-800-663-6272 for an emergency disconnect. Once water has receded, there will be a reconnection process in place.

LINKS:

●    River Watch
●    Flooded Roads
●    Environment Canada
●    Twitter@nbemo_omunb