Heavy rains cause flooding in New Brunswick
Published Tuesday, April 24, 2012 6:49PM ADT
Heavy rain made for some anxious hours along rivers in Southern New Brunswick Tuesday.
As sheets of rain poured down on the region, small creeks swelled overnight in areas north of Fredericton.
Property owners are being warned that river levels may continue to rise for at least another day.
"It's levelled off pretty good right now, as long as it don't rain anymore, it's OK," says property owner Bert Hunter.
In some areas, the Nashwaak River has climbed over its banks and emergency officials say property owners should keep a close eye on river levels over the next day or so.
Flooding started to affect traffic in east Saint John. Major routes, such as Rothesay Avenue, were down to two lanes.
Residents in flood-prone neighbourhoods such as Glen Falls watched their water levels rise, a problem exacerbated by motorists driving too fast.
Water gushed through the gates in the dams in St. George Tuesday, although some property owners along the Magaguadavic River and Lake Utopia say the Irving-operated dam should have opened the gates much earlier.
"If they would have been proactive and had the dams opened a day or two in advance, it wouldn't have rose nowhere near as much," says property owner Ken Hanselpacker.
J.D. Irving said Tuesday that the gates are wide open and the company has been monitoring and responding to weather and water levels.
The water level on the Magaguadavic River has come up almost four metres since this past weekend and people familiar with the river say it will probably continue to rise for at least another day or so.
"The river is rising rapidly and from what we know, the nature of the river historically is that it will be 36 hours before it crests now," says Bruce Jackson, a member of the Lake Utopia Preservation Association. "What you're seeing now is a long way from what the crest will be like."
Though the rain has let up, motorists are being asked to reduce speed when driving through large puddles or through flooded neighbourhoods.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Mike Cameron