Public consultation discusses historic 2018 N.B. floods
Published Saturday, March 23, 2019 6:42PM ADT
As New Brunswick braces for the upcoming flood season, victims of last year’s historic flooding were sharing their thoughts on how the 2018 floods were handled by the provincial government.
The first of five public brainstorming sessions on last year’s historic flood was held Saturday in Quispamsis, N.B.
A chance for New Brunswickers to get together to discuss the province’s response, both the good and the bad.
“I would give it about 70%,” said Quispamsis resident Mary Schryer. “There was a delay in really realizing the seriousness of the situation.”
“By the time the sand and sandbags were available here in the community, the water was already a couple feet deep in our backyard, and you can’t sandbag in water that’s more than a couple inches deep,” said Quispamsis resident Wendy Scott.
The public meetings are part of a review by an independent consultant of how the provincial government handled the flood.
The consultant, Calian Group Limited, says the report is due at the start of May, and they believe it will be made public.
“For my report and the EMO’s report, we get a chance to listen to how EMO’s response affected residents and that’s really what we’re here for,” says Ian Becking of Calian Group Limited.
About 12,000 properties were affected by the flooding, and nearly 3000 damage reports were filed with New Brunswick EMO. And properties weren’t the only thing that was damaged.
“The road is terribly impacted by the flood. It’s impacted the erosion on the banks,” says Perry Rivera-Woolsey.
Now that spring is officially here and the snow and ice are beginning to thaw, a watchful eye is being kept on river systems in New Brunswick, with last year’s historic flood still fresh in the minds of many.
“Up until last year, we never worried, the water would come up and you’d look at it and go ‘oh yeah, there it is,” says Mary Schryer. “But now, you know, once something happens I guess it makes you a little bit more worrisome and prepare more.”
“Extreme flooding is going to be part of our reality in Southern New Brunswick, so I am watching the water levels,” says Rothesay resident Ann MacAllister.
New Brunswick EMO officials say there’s no longer concern for flooding this weekend, but flood season is still just around the bend.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Lyall.