* Public Alert - River Watch
Water will remain high for coming days07 May 2018
FREDERICTON (GNB) – The following advisory was issued today by the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization (NBEMO), River Watch 2018:
Water will remain at historically high levels in the southern regions of the province for the coming days. People should continue to be vigilant and avoid any activities on the water, as currents are still strong and there is significant debris in the water. NBEMO continues to provide assistance to those who require it, with the help of local authorities.
NBEMO also continues to monitor water levels on the Madawaska River, which increased over the weekend due to outflow from the Temiscouata Dam in Quebec and high water levels of the St. John River. This no longer appears to represent a risk to residents in the region and should not have an impact on the water levels of the St. John River.
Canadian Red Cross
Residents affected by flooding can get assistance by calling the Canadian Red Cross at 1-800-863-6582. People who have already evacuated and did not require accommodations should still register with the Red Cross. The registry will assist the Red Cross with its support efforts.
To date, 488 households consisting of 1,158 people have registered with the Red Cross.
Donations can be made to the Canadian Red Cross to support those affected by the flood. Funds will be used for immediate and ongoing relief efforts, long-term recovery, resiliency and preparedness. Anyone interested in donating can call 1-800-418-1111 or visit www.redcross.ca.
The Trans-Canada Highway (Route 2) remains closed between Moncton and Fredericton in both directions. Once the water has receded, Department of Transportation and Infrastructure personnel will conduct a safety review and determine if any work is necessary. Those travelling between Moncton and Fredericton will be detoured to Route 1 through River Glade and Route 7 at Oromocto.
Route 10 between Chipman and Fredericton also remains closed. The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure has made improvements to a resource road to allow emergency vehicles access to the area.
Drivers must follow closure notices and are not permitted to move or drive around barricades. Drivers should also avoid driving on water-covered streets, as this not only puts vehicles at risk, it also pushes water into nearby homes. Check online for the latest road closures, or call 511.
Drivers are advised to exercise caution even after roads are clear of water. In some cases, water has caused damage to roads that may not be immediately apparent.
Drivers are urged to watch for wildlife on roads. The presence of wildlife on roads should be reported to local authorities.
Additional road closures are expected as water levels rise, and anyone concerned about being isolated should consider evacuating while it is still safe.
Emergency Preparedness Test
As part of Emergency Preparedness Week, there will be a test of the emergency alert system on Wednesday, May 9. This is only a test. Residents will receive a text and a message on television and radio. As many New Brunswickers continue to deal with high waters, they should be aware in advance that this alert is only a test.
Sandbags available at various locations
Sandbags are available at locations across the province for residents who require them. For a complete, updated list of locations that have sandbags, call NBEMO at 1-800-561-4034.
Residents are advised that, as water levels remain high over the coming days, sandbags may become less effective as they become saturated.
The provincial government continues to consult with municipal and federal officials, including the RCMP, Canadian Coast Guard and Armed Forces, on relief needs. The Coast Guard, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Transport Canada are providing assistance where it is most needed. The situation is being monitored closely and the Armed Forces are involved in conversations regarding relief efforts.
The Canadian Coast Guard and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans continue to work with NBEMO to provide emergency evacuations for people who require medical care, or who are unable to safely evacuate on their own. Vessels are also present to provide security and patrol impacted areas.
A number of additional NBEMO and local responder vessels are providing assistance in the flood zone, along with vessels from private sector companies such as Cooke Aquaculture.
Update from NB Power
Residents are warned of an increased potential for forced electrical outages in some communities due to safety and security reasons. To date, 871 NB Power customers have had their electrical services disconnected due to flooding.
If residents are concerned about water making contact with their electrical equipment, they are urged to contact NB Power at 1-800-663-6272.
NB Power officials are managing water levels at the Mactaquac headpond. These levels have been lowered intentionally to allow for the passage of natural river flow.
Report issues with water
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.
A flood level forecast can be found online. Residents can call 1-888-561-4048 for current flood levels.
Disaster Financial Assistance
A Disaster Financial Assistance Program is in place for damages caused by the 2018 spring freshet. The program is available to anyone with uninsurable losses and is intended to help communities and residents get back on their feet after a disaster. If a property owner made an effort to buy insurance and found it unavailable or unaffordable, they will still be eligible.
Residents can report damages related to the current spring freshet by calling 1-888-298-8555 or by registering damages online.
Floodwaters and potential contamination dangers
Floodwaters may cause community sewerage systems to become overwhelmed and this can lead to sewage backing up into homes or businesses. The floodwater itself can also be heavily contaminated with sewage and pose health risks such as sickness and infections.
If residents find sewage has backed up into their home, they should wear rubber boots and waterproof gloves if in contact with water and during cleanup.
Wash hands with warm water and soap after removing the rubber gloves.
Cleanup procedures are available on the Public Health website.
Free well-water testing
The provincial government is providing free testing for water from private wells that have been directly affected by recent flooding. Beginning May 17, water sampling kits will be available at Service New Brunswick Centres for owners of private wells. Residents must wait 10 days after water has receded from the well area before beginning the chlorination and sampling process.
More information regarding chlorinating and flushing wells can be found on the Department of Environment and Local Government’s website.
Advice concerning 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:
- After a Flood (Public Health advice)
Information to residents
New Brunswickers are also reminded to:
- avoid visiting flooded areas, as it is a safety concern;
- avoid boating, kayaking or other water activities this time of year, as currents are strong. Large quantities of debris and ice have been reported coming down the St. John River, increasing safety concerns for watercraft;
- avoid the banks of waterways as they are extremely dangerous at this time of year; and
- read helpful tips, the latest forecasts and public advisories by visiting the River Watch website, or by following the Emergency Measures Organization on Twitter and Facebook.
Updates on information related to the potential for flooding or ice jams, including 24/7 emergency updates, are available online.