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.

Floodwaters finally recede in N.B.

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(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

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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.

River Glade forest fire contained

Charred remains of a mobile home on Middlesex Road, NB, 08 May 2013 (Dearing)

Charred remains of a mobile home on Middlesex Road, NB, 08 May 2013 (Dearing)

As of mid-afternoon today, a forest fire in the River Glade area was classified as contained by the Department of Natural Resources.

The fire has consumed more than 150 hectares of land and has destroyed two mobile homes on Middlesex Road.

No one has been hurt.

DNR officials say the fire is no longer threatening homes and is mainly burning in a wooded area.

More than 100 ground personnel are on scene today along with two helicopters dropping water on hotspots and six bulldozers creating a containment line around the blaze.

The River Glade fire has been the largest forest fire in New Brunswick in several years.

Forest fire near River Glade, NB

Forest fire near River Glade, NB, 07 May 2013 (Dearing)

Forest fire near River Glade, NB, 07 May 2013 (Dearing)

Firefighters from several communities along with officials from the Department of Natural Resources have been battling a forest fire since mid-afternoon today near River Glade.

The fire was first reported around 2pm and has destroyed two mobile homes on Middlesex Road.

RCMP are helping to evacuate a number of area residents.

Despite efforts on the ground and by air to attack the fire, the DNR says it has spread over 150 hectares.

The smoke was visible and could even be smelled in Greater Moncton by late this afternoon.

As of 11:30pm, the fire was still classified as out of control.