Residents move the barricade out of the rising floodwater from the Saint John River in Lakeville Corner, N.B. on Wednesday, May 2, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

N.B. flooding hits record levels — with more rain in the forecast

The Emergency Measures Organization says Saint John has hit water levels not seen since 1973

Floodwaters have surged past record levels in parts of New Brunswick, sending the flood-weary province into uncharted territory as forecasts indicate even more rain could be coming.

The Emergency Measures Organization says Saint John has hit water levels not seen since 1973 and will likely exceed that on Saturday, while Jemseg has surpassed historic records.

Spokesman Geoffrey Downey says the rising waters are closing roads and causing more people to evacuate in areas stretching from Fredericton south to Saint John, where the situation is expected to worsen in the coming days.

He says roughly 100 homes have been evacuated, affecting about 260 people, but that those numbers are expected to climb as the flooding continues.

The Transportation Department says 136 assets — including roads, bridges and ferries — have been affected by the expansive flood that has resulted in 80 complete road closures and five partial closures.

The provincial government launched the Disaster Financial Assistance program Wednesday to help businesses, municipalities and individuals who have suffered damage during the current flood.

Premier Brian Gallant said damage has already been reported and is likely to get worse in the days ahead.

Related: N.B. officials urge people to evacuate their neighbourhoods as floodwaters rise

The maximum assistance for private homes is $160,000, and $500,000 for small businesses and not-for-profit organizations. Coverage is provided to repair and clean structures and to replace basic necessities, but is not available for recreational properties.

Water levels along the Saint John River in southern New Brunswick continued to rise and emergency measures officials are urging residents in flood-prone areas to evacuate their homes.

Oromocto fire Chief Jody Price said boats are being used to rescue people from homes across the river in Maugerville, and the longer people wait to leave, the harder it is to get to them.

“The higher the water gets — and it has been a continual rise — it is more difficult for us. We went from Friday, when we could get people out of there with vehicles, to today, where we can’t go over there without a boat,” Price said.

And unless it’s an emergency, Price said people need to be moved during the daylight hours.

“We don’t send our boats and our crews in after dark for the safety of our crews. We need to move people out of there in the day time. We are urging people if you want to come out, or are thinking about coming out, then we need you to come out now,” he said.

Price said the levels of the floodwaters are the highest he has ever seen.

Further down river, people in Grand Bay-Westfield were filling sandbags and trying to protect homes Wednesday afternoon, with officials expecting a significant rise in water levels over the next few days.

Cooke Aquaculture is sending a truck loaded with 10,000 sandbags to Grand Bay-Westfield to support flood relief efforts. The company in Blacks Harbour also has boats and equipment on standby to assist, if needed.

In Saint John, the huge volumes of water in the river can only release into the Bay of Fundy at low tide, but even high tides have met their match this week against the strong currents at the city’s Reversing Falls.

Saint John resident Graeme Scott, whose home overlooks the convergence of the Saint John and Kennebecasis rivers, said he’s safe because he lives on a hill, but he’s not so sure about many of his neighbours. He said their houses are tucked into the hillside with one storey on the street and two storeys facing the water side.

“Some of their foundations are probably getting within a foot or so (of the water) and there are some people on the point that have done a bunch of sandbagging yesterday around the front of the houses,” said Scott.

“It’s right at the max of what we’ve seen before.”

Related: No way of forecasting Okanagan floods: engineer

Related: PHOTOS: Flood damage extensive in B.C. Interior

Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Particulate matter levels in Williams Lake high enough to concern all

On a normal summer day levels would be between five and 15 micrograms per cubic metre. They are above 621.

Barbondy helps slo-pitch league gain grand slam popularity

League president Linda Barbondy can’t help but take a step back to admire how far its come

Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin enjoys summer of recovery

How the museum is faring a year after relocation

Willie Sellars wins WLIB election for chief

After serving three terms as a councillor, the 34-year-old will now serve a four-year term as chief

CRD issues evacuation order for Dean River North and Ulkatcho First Nation

The order includes 57 properties in the CRD and five properties on Ulkatcho First Nation

Happy birthday Boler: An anniversary gathering of the cutest campers in Winnipeg

Hundreds of the unique trailers in Winnipeg to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Manitoba invention

Woodpecker goes out with a bang, starts grassfire in B.C.

Untimely death of woodpecker causes power outage in Cawston

Communities on evacuation alert in many areas of B.C. as wildfires flare

Warning was issued for 583-square-kilometre blaze that has charred Fraser Lake to Fort St. James

Kelowna’s crying judge refuses to pull herself from case

Judge Monica McParland won’t pull herself off of case.

Complaint coming about cattle prod use at B.C. rodeo

Fair reps investigate after Vancouver Humane Society pics show shocking device at bullriding event

PHOTOS: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

The rest of the province also dealing with thick haze as smoky skies continue

Kim XO is Black Press Media’s fashionista

Starting Sept. 7, stylist Kim XO will host Fashion Fridays on the Life channel on Black Press Media

Publication ban lifted on details about Fredericton shooting that killed 4

Judge lifts publication ban on court documents related to the Fredericton shooting

RCMP cleared after woman fatally overdoses on fentanyl

Charges not recommended after IIO says woman appears to have brought fentanyl into her cell

Most Read