FREDERICTON (GNB) – The following advisory was issued today by the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization, River Watch 2018:

All regions along the St. John River basin are at risk of flooding. For communities already affected, water levels will remain at or near flood stage for at least the next 48 hours.

Watercourses at risk include:

  • the Nashwaak River
  • the Restigouche River
  • Middle River (Bathurst)
  • Southwest Miramichi
  • Northwest Miramichi
  • Little Southwest Miramichi
  • Salmon River
  • Tetagouche River (North Tetagouche Road)

People living near rivers are advised to remain on alert in the coming days.

Residents can report any issues related to increased water levels or flooding at any time by calling 1-800-561-4034. In case of emergency, call 911.

For recorded River Watch water levels, people may call 1-888-561-4048.

Flood level two-day forecasts are available online for the Upper St. John River and the lower part of the St. John River.

The Canadian Red Cross can help

The number of evacuees is currently limited and localized to certain regions: Edmundston, Bathurst, Fredericton and Maugerville.

Residents who are affected by flood water and do not have access to alternative accommodations (neighbours, friends or family) can contact the Canadian Red Cross at 1-800-863-6582. They will provide assistance.

Road closures – Respect closure notices

Flood waters have forced some road closures in the province. Drivers must follow closure notices and are not permitted to move or drive around barricades. Ignoring or moving these barricades is considered an offense. Drivers are also asked to obey changes to speed limits. A list of the latest road closures is available online.

Drivers are urged to watch for wildlife on roads. Some animals will be seeking higher ground as their natural territories are covered by water. The presence of wildlife on roads should be reported to local authorities.

Drivers are advised to avoid any roads covered by water, as it represents a serious safety risk. Water may be deeper than it appears and may conceal sinkholes or other damage and debris.

Report damages

Residents can report damages related to the current spring freshet by calling 1-888-298-8555 or by registering damages online.

Service New Brunswick TeleServices line will be available to receive calls between 8 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

The Damage Report Line program will allow residents, tenants, small businesses and not-for profit organizations to receive information and register their flood-related damage with a single phone call.

The damage assessments will be reviewed and health and safety inspection teams may be dispatched if required.

Advice for flooded basements

People are advised to be cautious when pumping water out of their basements. Pumping it out too soon could cause structural damage or collapse the basement. As a safety precaution, basement water levels should not be more than 30 centimetres (one foot) lower than the outside water level.

The following links provide information useful to residents impacted by flooding:

Information to residents

New Brunswickers are also reminded to:

  • consider moving belongings to higher ground if their property is near a waterway or is in an area that is prone to flooding;
  • avoid the banks of waterways as they become dangerous this time of year;
  • avoid boating, kayaking or other water activities this time of year as currents are strong and may carry debris. As well, people should stay away from the edge of the river while walking;

The River Watch program is a joint effort involving the Department of Environment and Local Government, New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization of the Department of Justice and Public Safety and NB Power. Other partners include watershed groups, and federal, provincial and state agencies involved in monitoring and forecasting the water flow in the province's rivers and streams.

Updates on information related to the potential for flooding or ice jams, including 24/7 emergency updates, are available online.