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Water Today Title November 27, 2020

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By Michelle Moore
Rising water levels in several New Brunswick rivers has led to flooding and road closures in various parts of the province over the last four days.

The New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization (NB-EMO), River Watch 2018 issued a public advisory at noon Monday April 30 urging residents of areas affected by flooding to follow safety measures. This includes respecting road closures and avoiding flooded areas when possible.

The NB-EMO warned that "residents in Edmundston and in southern regions of the province should remain on alert, as water levels are forecasted to increase in several areas along the St. John River."

Jacques Doiron, Emergency Measures Coordinator for the city of Edmunston told this reporter "since this morning, some rivers are starting to go down but we have another one that's going up. So [the situation is] maintained."

Doiron explained that while Iroquois River and Rivière à la Truite have receded, the Madawaska River has risen. He said they expected that though because Temiscouata Lake feeds into it. He added "maybe tonight it's going to go up a little bit because of the rain we have received, but in the morning it will go down again."

Although many homes are affected by the flooding, only one home in the St-Basile needed to be evacuated. Doiron said eleven other homes have been cut off because a bridge was damaged but their homes have not been flooded and the Department of Transportation is on the scene.

Doiron said "we think that levels will go down in the next few days. We are expecting another fifteen millimeters of rain on Wednesday, hopefully they're mistaken and it won't happen."

Other rivers determined to be at risk by the NB-EMO include Nashwaak River, Salmon River, Tetagouche River and Middle River in Bathurst. Earlier in the month the city of Bathurst experienced some minor flooding due to ice jams.

One home on Middle River Road which had been closed due to the flooding was evacuated while other homeowners decided to stay. On April 16, the NB-EMO announced that water levels in Middle River were decreasing and that no flood damage had been reported.

New Brunswick Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Jennifer Russell has recommended that residents exercise caution with drinking water in flood conditions.

In a statement released April 27, Dr. Russell said "private water supplies contaminated by flooding should not be used while the wellhead is flooded. Once flood waters have receded, the well should be disinfected and the water quality should be tested prior to use."

Anyone looking for the latest flooding updates can refer to RiverWatch2018 on the Government of New Brunswick website.


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