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.
(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.
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.
Three forest fires are continuing to burn at Base Gagetown with drifting smoke causing poor air quality in Oromocto and nearby Fredericton.
Training exercises on the sprawling military base reportedly ignited the fires in recent days which have not posed any threat to homes or structures.
A smoky sky over the New Brunswick capital city prompted public health officials to urge children, seniors and anyone with lung conditions to stay indoors.
Water bombers have been attacking the fires which have burned over 1,000 hectares to date amid very dry conditions.
About 14 cm of snow in Moncton, 03 Dec 2015 (Choi/Facebook)
Early December ushered in the first real taste of winter for Greater Moncton wit 14 cm of snow, but not before 12 mm of rain also fell.
The storm knocked out power to thousands of New Brunswickers with especially long blackouts in the Fredericton and Oromocto areas where the Red Cross opened temporary warming centres.
Most schools in the province were closed on Thursday.
Traffic was brought to a crawl as drivers tried to adjust to the wintry conditions.