(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.
Floodwaters from St. John River lapping at the Trans Canada Highway near Jemseg, NB, 03 May 2018 (Hay/Facebook)
Floodwaters covering the road near Jemseg have forced the closure of the Trans Canada Highway between Moncton and Fredericton.
The Emergency Management Organization says the road could be closed for several days until water levels recede.
A long detour forces travellers to go through Saint John via Routes 1 and 7.
EMO says the water continues to rise along the southern St. John River and may exceed levels last seen during the historic 1973 flood.
Areas of Saint John under voluntary evacuation, 01 May 2018 (City of Saint John)
Flooding continues in Fredericton where water levels have increased again to a point where the benchmark of 2008 was reached.
New Brunswick’s Emergency Measures Organization is warning levels are rising along the southern region of the St. John River basin.
Residents from Jemseg and Gagetown to Quispamsis and Saint John are being told to be on high alert and expect flooding if it has occurred in the past.
Several neighbourhoods of Saint John are under a voluntary evacuation (see map above) due to flooding, road closures and rising waters along the river.
Flooding along the St. John River in Fredericton, 28 April 2018 (Coleman/Twitter/Weather Network)
Recent heavy rains and melting snow have caused flooding along the St. John River Valley especially in Fredericton.
Streets and parking lots in the downtown core have been left underwater.
Emergency Management Organization officials say the river was 1.7 metres above flood stage in Fredericton by late Saturday – a level not seen since the major flood of 2008.
Communities further downstream have also been flooded including Maugerville and Jemseg with some roads impassable due to high water levels.
Ice jam on Middle River causes flooding, 16 April 2016 (NB-EMO)
Emergency measures officials with River Watch in New Brunswick are closely monitoring the St. John River and say the only area currently above flood stage is near Jemseg.
Even with rain being forecasted by Environment Canada, water levels are expected to remain below flood stage for the rest of the week.
So far this spring, it has been relatively quiet along flood-prone areas of the St. John River system.
Along the Middle River, south of Bathurst, an ice jam created localized flooding and forced a road closure but water levels are receding.
Damage from the Grand Lake area tornado, 21 July 2013 (Courtesy CTV)
Environment Canada says winds in a tornado that touched down in the Grand Lake area on Saturday moved at speeds of between 135 to 175 kilometres per hour.
The wind speed calculated by meteorologists means the storm is officially designated as an Enhanced Fujita 1 (EF-1) – the scale runs from zero to five.
Two meteorologists examined the tornado’s destruction over a pathway of about 15 kilometres and found the storm touched down near Jemseg and started ripping up trees.
As it moved east, three barns were destroyed and three more structures were damaged or destroyed including another barn in the Cambridge-Narrows area.
The researchers found the debris from the barn in Cambridge-Narrows was picked up and carried more 300 metres.
The last EF-1 tornado hit the province on Aug. 3, 2007, in the Mount Carleton area.
(With files from Canadian Press)
Funnel cloud over Grand Lake, 21 July 2013 (Screen capture courtesy Alex Hache/ Global News)
A number of communities in central New Brunswick are cleaning up today after a tornado touched down last night.
Damage from strong winds was reported in the Grand Lake area including Cambridge-Narrows, Jemseg and Whites Cove.
Witnesses say a funnel cloud took shape and appears to have lifted the roof off a barn, uprooted trees and tossed around vehicles.
Environment Canada sent a team to assess the damage on 22 July and confirmed the storm was a tornado.