Flooding in Fredericton, 24 Apr 2019 (GNB/Yerxa)
It’s a sure sign of spring…
New Brunswick’s annual program monitoring the status of rivers, ice jams and other flood issues officially launched today.
Historic flooding in 2018 and 2019 devastated many communities along the St. John River although individuals and municipal governments were better prepared last year.
Higher than normal water levels forced the closure of the Trans-Canada Highway between Fredericton and Moncton for almost a week and even longer the year before.
Officials say a variety of factors contribute to flooding including precipitation, snow pack, air temperatures and river ice.
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 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.
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.
“Bomb cyclone” south of the Maritimes, 04 Jan 2017 (earth.nullscholl.net)
An powerful Nor’easter has arrived in the Maritimes with strong, gusty winds bringing heavy rain for Nova Scotia and a snow/ice pellets/rain for New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.
Winds were hurricane-force in the Halifax region at 117 km/h and thundersnow – a thunderstorm with snow – was recorded in Sydney.
Storm surge warnings are in place along the Atlantic coast as water levels will be high enough to cause some coastal flooding.
In Greater Moncton, snow began falling around noon with freezing rain/ice pellets by late afternoon and rain by evening.
Environment Canada says the storm will move out of the region by Friday afternoon but more frigid air is filtering in behind the system which will mean a very cold weekend.
Seine River overflows in Paris, France, 02 June 2016 (Getty Images)
Water levels on the Seine River in Paris are decreasing after peaking earlier today at more than five metres above normal – a 35-year high.
However, French officials say it could be days before the Seine returns to normal.
Curators at the Louvre were scrambling to move tens of thousands of artworks from basement storage to safer areas upstairs.
Days of rain have soaked Western Europe and at least 16 people have been killed by flooding in parts of France, Germany, Romania and Belgium.