FREDERICTON (GNB) – The following advisory was issued today by the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization, River Watch 2019:

Residents in the communities of Saint Francois, Clair / Fort Kent, Baker-Brook, Saint-Hilaire, Edmundston, Iroquois, Saint-Anne-de-Madawaska, Saint-Léonard, Fredericton, Maugerville, Jemseg, Grand Lake, Sheffield / Lakeville Corner, Oak Point and Quispamsis / Saint John should be on high alert. Water levels are forecast to increase in the days ahead, passing or reaching flood stage.

People in these areas who have experienced flooding in the past should expect to experience similar or worse conditions and are advised to know the risks, take preventative measures, and to consider including voluntary evacuation if necessary.

“Now is the time to take final steps to prepare for flooding. It’s not a question of if it is going to happen. Residents should take steps to stay informed and stay safe,” said Greg MacCallum, director of the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization.

The New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization has been in contact with the federal government to secure assistance, including military support, if required.

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

Sand and sandbags are available at locations across the province for residents who require them. An updated list of locations that have sand and sandbags is available online.

Road closures

Flood waters are expected to cause road closures in the province. A list of the latest road closures is available online.

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.

Drivers must follow closure notices and are not permitted to move or drive around barricades. Ignoring or moving these barricades is an offence, and offenders will be charged.

Drivers are also asked to obey changes to speed limits and 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.

Call 511 for road closures and conditions or check online. Download the new NB 511 mobile application that allows users to set specific roads to receive alerts, such as road closures.

NB Power

NBEMO is working closely with NB Power and the Department of Public Safety’s chief electrical inspector. If rising water is in contact with or is expected to come into contact with electrical facilities including receptacles, please call 1-800-663-6272 for an emergency disconnect.

Once water has receded, NB Power will have a reconnection process in place to ensure residents, their neighbours and properties are safe.

Residents should contact NB Power to disconnect power if they experience any of the following:

  • Their main electrical panel and/or meter and meter base are currently under water, or have been underwater;

  • The building may have been moved due to excessive water force or ice movement;

  • Visible damage to electrical service equipment on the exterior of a house, like the meter, meter base, service stack or conduits and grounding conductors;

  • The water height is above the level of electrical equipment or wiring devices like receptacles, baseboard heaters, furnaces, etc. This could also apply to sewage backup.

Information to residents

People living near rivers and waterways are advised to remain on alert over the coming days as water levels will be near or above flood stage in many regions.

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.

New Brunswickers are 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.
  • 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.

The River Watch program is a joint effort involving the Department of Environment and Local Government, the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization of the Department of 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, is available online.