Flooding eases along St. John River

FredApr2019

Flooding in Fredericton, 24 Apr 2019 (GNB/Yerxa)

The New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization says water levels continue to recede and are now below flood stage along most of the St. John River system.

Several roads remain closed and drivers are told to respect any barricades.

The provincial government has launched a disaster assistance program to help residents, businesses and municipalities deal with property damage from flooding.

Health officials are warning about harvesting wild, edible plants like fiddleheads near flooded waterways which may have been exposed to contaminants.

Advertisements

April 2019 – Wet and chilly

Glorious sunset in NE Moncton, 22 Apr 2019 (Dearing)

Spring can be the most disappointing season of the year in New Brunswick and April 2019 was no exception with cloudy, cool and often wet conditions.

Surprisingly, Greater Moncton was close to normal in temperature but double the average amount of rain fell along with slightly more snow than usual.

Melting snow and heavy precipitation led to more disastrous flooding along the St. John River – almost as bad as last year’s historic water levels.

Only one day was fully below freezing and while nights weren’t that cold, daytime highs often struggled to reach the double digits.

APRIL 2019 ALMANAC (at Greater Moncton Int’l Airport, 1981-2010)

Average HIGH  8.1°C

Average LOW  -1.0°C

AVERAGE  3.6°C (near normal)

Extreme HIGH  18.9°C (21 Apr)

Extreme LOW  -6.0°C (08 Apr)

RAINFALL  122.5 mm (about 100 percent ABOVE normal)

SNOWFALL  32.8 cm (slightly ABOVE normal)

(Data courtesy Environment Canada)

Flooding plagues Ontario & Quebec

Ottawa flood

Volunteers filling sandbags in Ottawa, 25 April 2019 (City of Ottawa)


New Brunswick is not the only province experiencing severe flooding this spring – so are Ontario and Quebec.

The City of Ottawa declared a state of emergency this week as water levels rose along the Ottawa River.

The military was called in to help with flood mitigation efforts including sandbagging along with thousands of community volunteers.

In the western Laurentian mountains, the Rouge River is threatening to spill over the Bell Falls Dam and at least 60 homes have been evacuated downstream.

Due to the threat of flooding in several areas of the city, Montreal has also declared a state of emergency.

Flooding closes section of TCH

Flooding along the St. John River in Maugerville, 23 April 2019 (5th Canadian Division/Facebook)

For the second year in a row, floodwaters from the St. John River have forced the closure of the Trans Canada Highway between Moncton and Fredericton.

The New Brunswick Department of Transportation says drivers must detour at the Oromocto exit or at the River Glade exit and travel through Saint John.

The detour will add approximately 90 kilometres in each direction.

River Watch officials say water levels in Saint John are expected to reach last year’s historic marks by Friday and while now receding in Fredericton, the water will likely rise again by this weekend.

Military join flood emergency in N.B.

 
Floodwaters along the St. John River peaked in Fredericton today and are expected to peak in Saint John by Friday.

While the flooding is significant, River Watch officials in New Brunswick say levels are not expected to surpass last year’s historic numbers.

The provincial government has called in the Canadian Armed Forces from CFB Gagetown to help with soldiers assisting with sandbagging, evacuations and wellness checks.

Many roads especially in the Fredericton region have also been closed due to floodwaters and it could be days before some can reopen.

Weather bomb crosses the continent

Bomb cyclone

Bomb cyclone centre in U.S. Midwest, 14 Mar 2019 (earth.nullschool.net)

A so-called bomb cyclone brought blizzard conditions to Colorado and now heavy rain,  flooding and even tornadoes to the U.S. Midwest.

The weather bomb occurs when there is a rapid drop in atmospheric pressure over a 24 hour period.

Further north, the storm is dumping snow across Minnesota as it moves into northwestern Ontario.

Severe thunderstorm watches have been posted for Southern Ontario with strong winds expected along with heavy rain.

New Brunswick will the effects this weekend with significant rainfall and gusty winds in the forecast.

Florence creates historic flooding

florence

Fallen tree traps residents inside home, Wilmington, NC, USA, 15 Sept 2018 (ABC)

Since making landfall near Wilmington, North Carolina on Friday morning as a Category 1 hurricane, Florence has claimed at least 15 lives.

Strong winds have toppled trees trapping some and even killing others in their own homes.

Now a tropical depression, the storm has been dumping epic amounts of rain (800 mm or more) on North and South Carolina which has caused flash flooding as rivers and streams spill their banks.

First responders have rescued almost 1,000 residents from floodwaters while nearly one million are without power and tens of thousands have sought refuge in emergency shelters.

Many highways have been left impassable and officials are urging drivers to stay at home and off the roads.

NB flood by numbers

img_1648-1

Flooding forces closure of Randolph Bridge on west side of Saint John, 05 May 2018 (Twitter/City of Saint John)

Some residents are still recovering from the historic spring flooding along the southern St. John River and its tributaries.

Flood levels were elevated between 27 April and 18 May affecting Fredericton, Saint John and areas in between.

By the numbers (provided by Government of New Brunswick):

  • 12,000 – properties affected by flooding to some degree
  • 2,627 – residents who registered for disaster financial assistance
  • 1,871 – residents who asked for health and safety inspection of properties
  • 1,110 – households registered with the Canadian Red Cross
  • 4,000 – tonnes of debris from flood dumped at landfills

Floodwaters finally recede in N.B.

nb flood

(Top) Swollen St. John River, 02 May 2018,(Bottom) A more typical flow, 12 May 2016 (NASA Earth Observatory)

Water levels have dropped below flood stage in most areas of the St. John River in what has become the worst flooding event ever recorded in New Brunswick.

The Emergency Measures Organization says only in the Jemseg area will levels be just above flood stage.

The Trans Canada Highway between River Glade and Oromocto finally reopened Friday after being shut down for a week but dozens of roads remain closed due to flooding.

The Canadian Armed Forces has deployed 60 members to assist the provincial government with flood cleanup.

Almost 1,700 residents have registered with the Red Cross as evacuees and many who have returned home are finding heavy water damage to homes and cottages.

St. John River flooding reaches historic levels

img_1648-1

Flooding forces closure of Randolph Bridge on west side of Saint John, 05 May 2018 (Twitter/City of Saint John)

After steadily rising for more than a week, water levels along the southern portion of the St. John River have surpassed the historic flood in 1973.

Environment Canada is forecasting more rain for Southern New Brunswick with up to 20 mm possible by Monday after 30 mm fell Friday and early Saturday.

The Coast Guard and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans have provided vessels to help with evacuations and Transport Canada has deployed surveillance aircraft.

Almost 1,000 people have registered as evacuees with the Red Cross.

Many roads have been closed by the flooding including the Trans Canada Highway between River Glade and Oromocto – the detour through Saint John adds one hour of travel time between Moncton and Fredericton.