N.B. residents on flood watch along St. John River
People who live near New Brunswick's St. John River are on flood watch. (CTV Atlantic)
Published Wednesday, April 2, 2014 7:28PM ADT
Much of the snow that has fallen over the past few months has started to melt, raising concerns along the banks of the St. John River.
Maugerville, N.B. resident Ron Beatty says he has seen the best and worst of the St. John River. Water spilled into his basement in 2008 and now he says he is taking no chances.
“I’m just boxing everything up in the basement, bringing everything upstairs a little bit at a time and I’m going to be ready, because I remember 2008,” says Beatty.
In Fredericton in 2008, river water ran through city streets and flooded people’s homes. Temperatures rose quickly that year and rain added to the spring runoff.
It’s a situation Premier David Alward is hoping to avoid this year, but he knows only so much can be done to prevent it.
Alward says it’s too early to read the potential impact of the melting season but it’s something that is being monitored.
“Not only in this part of New Brunswick, but very importantly, up in the northern parts of New Brunswick, Maine and Quebec, where we see a lot of the snow come into our watershed,” says Alward.
In 2012, the St. John River overwhelmed Perth-Andover, forcing evacuations and, ultimately, relocations.
Alward says previous flooding in Fredericton and Perth-Andover provided lessons and the lessons learned will provide guidance in the coming weeks.
“There’s been a lot of research post Perth-Andover floods from a couple of years ago to understand what the dynamics are,” says Alward.
Wayne Tallon, director of Public Safety for the City of Fredericton, says he too is keeping an eye on the river and the weather forecast.
“If we have a quick melt and if you add rain on top of it, then that changes the circumstances and, obviously, the potential for flooding,” says Tallon.
While it’s too early to determine whether the river will spill over its banks this spring, those who live near it are preparing for the worst.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Andy Campbell