Flood threat eases in New Brunswick village
PERTH-ANDOVER, N.B. - Some residents in this northwest New Brunswick village were advised on Saturday to stay away from their homes for at least one more night, even as water levels receded.
Village spokeswoman Justine Waldeck said the community was breathing a bit easier after water levels on the St. John River plunged more than a metre overnight.
But Waldeck stopped short of saying the flood threat had entirely dissipated.
A monster ice jam above the dam at Grand Falls remained a concern, though Waldeck said it was hoped the drop in water levels would reduce the effect impact once the ice breaks up and drifts downstream.
"Right now it doesn't look like it is posing too much of a threat on us just because our water levels have decreased so much," she said in an interview.
"If we were to get an influx, the river here could probably handle it now."
Municipal officials considered lifting a voluntary evacuation request affecting 49 homes, but ultimately decided to keep the measure in place as a precaution.
The request was put in place Wednesday amid concerns the St. John River would flood the village, which experienced severe flooding in March 2012. Waldeck said residents were being very co-operative.
She said the village would continue to work closely with NB Power to monitor the river.
"They told us that we should see it slowly creeping back down," she said.
New Brunswickers have been on edge for days as ice-choked rivers threaten to spill their banks.
The town of Sussex began the arduous task of cleaning up Thursday after the Kennebecasis River reached heights some people said they've never seen.
River Watch said water levels were expected to remain high for the next few days and above flood stage in some areas, including Fredericton, Maugerville, Jemseg, Grand Lake, Sheffield and Lakeville Corner. It was also keeping a close eye on several ice jams along the St. John River at Woodstock and the Nashwaak River.
Water levels are expected to reach flood stage Sunday in the Quispamsis and Saint John areas.
"This is a continuously changing situation and people are asked to continue to be on alert for ice movement and rising water levels," River Watch said on its website.
In Quebec, many residents breathed a sigh of relief as the water levels of many rivers continued to drop. There was one exception in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region, where about 50 homes in La Matapedia were evacuated as a precaution because of an ice jam on a local river.