FREDERICTON (GNB) – Flood recovery efforts are ongoing in a number of New Brunswick communities.

While many affected residents have been able to return to their homes, some are still recovering from the historic spring freshet. Flood levels were elevated between April 27 and May 18 and affected several regions including Fredericton, Saint John, and surrounding communities.

Health and safety inspectors are in the process of inspecting the properties of residents who have registered with the Disaster Financial Assistance program.

About 12,000 properties across the province were affected by flooding to varying degrees and 2,627 people have registered damage for disaster financial assistance. Of those who registered, 1,871 requested a health and safety inspection. To date, 91 per cent, or 1,709, of those inspections have been completed.

Disaster financial assistance help

Residents impacted by flooding should register any property damage as part of the Disaster Financial Assistance program.

Temporary offices will be set up in a number of New Brunswick communities. Claims officers will be on hand to assist with the application process and answer questions about the recovery process.

Residents can call the numbers provided for each location to make an appointment.

The office hours for these one-day openings will be from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. The following have been confirmed with more to be announced in the days to come:

  • June 6 – Lincoln – Lincoln Elementary School (Multipurpose Room), 506-453-6514;
  • June 6 – Grand Bay-Westfield – River Valley Community Centre, 506-658-5390;
  • June 7 – Keswick – Keswick Ridge Community Hall, 506-453-6514;
  • June 7 – Kingston – Long Reach Fire Department, 506-658-5390;
  • June 8 – Maugerville/Sheffield – Maugerville Community Centre, 506-453-6514;
  • June 8 – Oak Point region – Royal Canadian Legion Branch 87, 506-658-5390;
  • June 11 – Jemseg/Grand Lake/Lakeville Corner – Jemseg Lion’s Club, 506-453-6514;
  • June 11 – Rothesay/Quispamsis – Q-Plex, 506-658-5390;
  • June 12 – Minto – Minto Senior Citizen’s Centre, 506-453-6514;
  • June 12 – Clifton Royal – Moss Glen Legion, 506-658-5390;
  • June 13 – Chipman – Chipman Heritage Centre, 506-453-6514; and
  • June 15 – Cambridge-Narrows – Town Hall, 506-658-5390.

Disaster Financial Assistance satellite offices have also been opened in:

  • Saint John – 15 King’s Square North (506-658-5390);
  • Hampton – 410 William Bell Dr., Unit 1 (506-832-6030);
  • Fredericton – Service New Brunswick building, 432 Queen St. (506-453-6514); and
  • Burton – Burton Courthouse, 23 Rte. 102 (506-357-4622).

Additional satellite offices are also being added in Rothesay, Maugerville and the Grand Lake area. Addresses for these offices will be announced soon.

The program is in place to help small businesses, municipalities and individuals who suffered property damage following the current freshet season. The only way to qualify for assistance under the program is to register. To report damages due to flooding call 1-888-298-8555. Additional information on the program is also available online.

Canadian Red Cross

A total of 1,110 households including 2,458 people have registered with the Canadian Red Cross. Seventy-one people remain in temporary housing.

Since May 16, the Red Cross has provided financial assistance directly to about 550 households using funds donated to the organization’s New Brunswick flood appeal. It is being provided to eligible households that evacuated their primary residence for more than two days; were without electric power for more than three days; or had water damage and/or sewer backup and who self-identified that they will face financial difficulty during flood recovery.

Those who meet those criteria but have not yet registered with the Red Cross are encouraged to call 1-800-863-6582 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, to see if they qualify. Households that have not received a free home cleanup kit can still pick them up in person at Red Cross offices in Saint John (120 MacDonald St.) or Fredericton (318 Maple St.) during regular business hours.

Flood debris

Flood debris pick-up continues in the Greater Fredericton and Saint John regions, and will begin on Monday, June 4, in the Hampton, Kingston and Greenwich areas. Residents in these regions are asked to leave debris roadside.

Residents may also bring it directly to one of the landfills in Fredericton, Saint John or Sussex at no charge. This will continue until at least the first week of July. Residents will be advised two weeks prior to it ending at any of the three sites.

About 4,000 tonnes has been dropped off at landfills to date. Debris pickups will continue until the process is complete. For more information, call a local service district office at 506-453-2838 or 506-832-6000.

Water-testing kits

Free water-testing kits are available at Service New Brunswick locations for owners of private wells. A total of 472 water tests have been performed so far.

More information regarding chlorinating and flushing wells is available at the Department of Environment and Local Government’s website.

Watercourse and Wetland Alteration permits

To mitigate environmental impact and future losses due to flooding, property owners will be required to submit plans that include new mitigation measures or design before permits will be issued under the Watercourse and Wetland Alteration Regulation. This regulation, under the Clean Water Act, requires any person intending to do work, including construction, demolition, placing or removing fill, clearing land or landscaping within 30 metres of a watercourse or wetland must obtain a permit. This includes new building construction, as well as reconstruction or expansion of existing buildings.

The goal of the new measures is to reduce the likelihood that a building or its contents will be damaged during a flood, and to reduce the cost of repairs if damage does occur.

Fees for permits will be waived for residents of local service districts who require a development and building permit, and for all residents who may require a Watercourse and Wetland Alteration permit for restoration of properties affected by the flood.

Most roads now reopened

The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure has re-established all major transportation links, however, there are still a number of detours in place as the department’s engineers identify the work required to make them safe. Five roads remain closed.

Impacted farms

Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries staff have contacted farms that were impacted by spring flooding below Fredericton and which grow crops for human consumption to discuss their individual situations and to provide guidance. Following those discussions, all farmers are expected to be able to plant this year.

Staff have also met with businesses in those zones that sell plant materials, and are currently completing visits to livestock farms impacted by the flooding.

NB Power update

NB Power crews continue to work closely with Technical Inspection Services and have reconnected about half the customers who had their electrical services disconnected during the flood. In some cases, reconnection has not been possible because the repair or recovery process has not been initiated by the owner.