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St. John River reaches flood levels in Fredericton, Jemseg
The St. John River hit flood levels in Fredericton and Jemseg on Thursday, following weeks of anxiety over rising water levels in New Brunswick.
Some areas along the St. John River have yet to hit their forecasted peak water levels: the Kennebecasis River is expected to keep rising for at least another day.
The situation was not helped by rainfall overnight and through much of Thursday, but Paul Bradley of the Fredericton Emergency Management Organizationsaid the weekend might bring relief.
“It’s supposed to be colder on the weekend, so hopefully that will slow the increase in water levels,” Bradley said.
Officials in Frederictonsay the river is expected to remain at flood levels for at least a few more days.
Wayne Tallon of the Fredericton EMO says one of the greatest concerns right now is people getting too close to the water.
“The currents are strong, the water is very cold, there’s a lot of debris coming down the river as well, so it’s a dangerous place to be,” Tallon said.
In Lisa Justason’s flood-prone Fredericton neighbourhood, where some basements started filling up on Thursday, residents are not just concerned about flooding — they’re worried about people who drive right through the water.
“When people are driving through all that, pressure from the waves, it breaks the windows and causes more damage than what’s being caused by the water,” Justason said.
Elaine Banks, who lives in nearby Sheffield, N.B., has experienced flooding in her home in the past, and though she’s not too worried about this this spring, she’s not taking any chances.
“My husband and I have already cleaned out the basement and put stuff up like that,” she said.
Those who should be watching the situation in the Fredericton area and preparing accordingly are those who live downriver, says Bradley of the Fredericton EMO.
“You’re going to see the water move right down the system, so if it’s high in Fredericton they’re going to get it in a day or two down further,” he said.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Nick Moore