Fredericton (May 3, 2008) - Approximately 680 evacuees from the greater Fredericton area registered with the Canadian Red Cross will have to wait for flood waters to recede before returning to their homes. A major flood warning remains in effect.
"This is still a serious situation," said Fire Chief Philip Toole, chair of the City's Emergency Operations Centre. "I ask those people who are anxious to get back into their homes to please be patient. We hope to have most of our streets open by Monday and we have to be confident that conditions are safe before we get on with the work of recovering from this emergency."
NB Power is reporting 264 customers in the greater Fredericton area are still without power and must have their homes inspected before they get reconnected to the grid for safety reasons. For information, contact NB Power at 1-800-663-6272.
City of Fredericton work crews worked throughout Friday night and into Saturday clearing debris and checking for damage on city roads and streets. Once streets are determined to be safe, roads no longer affected by the flooding will be re-opened.
Lincoln Road at the City line (Baker Brook) remains closed, however all other restrictions along the Lincoln Road were lifted Saturday morning. Lincoln Road downriver from Dunns Crossing Road is now open and clear of debris. Lincoln Road at Wilsey Road has been opened and the traffic signals reinitialized. Lincoln Road by the experimental farm hill is clear of debris and open.
University Avenue from Beaverbrook Street to University Avenue is now open as well but the Waterloo Row underpass remains closed.
Both city bridges have remained remain operational throughout the flood, but with limited ramp access. Late Friday, the Smythe Street exit ramp on the Westmorland Street Bridge was re-opened but all other ramps except the the Main Street on-ramp, remain covered by water. Access on and off the north side of the Princess Margaret Bridge continues to only be the Marysville By-Pass. Motorists are encouraged to avoid the downtown area if at all possible.
It is important that the public continue to respect the barricades set up around the city on flooded streets as flooding may have displaced manhole covers or there may be damage that is not immediately visible which could result in damage to vehicles.
Roads throughout the province are beginning to re-open as well, and motorists can find the most updated list of highways and roads at: http://www1.gnb.ca/cnb/transportation/flooding-e.asp.
Current River Levels
The St. John River level in Fredericton receded to 7.76 metres overnight, still above the 6.5 metre flood stage. There is no significant rain in the forecast. The bubble of water that roared out of the river's headwaters in Maine and Quebec earlier this week is now wreaking havoc downriver, and into the Saint John area.
City officials are continuing to warn the public to stay out of the flood waters and off the river.
"There can be serious health risks from flooding," said Chief Toole. "The river is fast-moving and it is dangerous and it is important that people stay off the river."
Points to Remember
Access Airport via Vanier Highway
Access to the Fredericton Airport from Fredericton is via the Vanier Highway and then through the Nevers Road to Lincoln Road.
Water Supply Safe
The City of Fredericton drinking water remains safe. The water supply comes from wells in the Wilmot Park area, which are not impacted by the flood.
Sluggish Sewer Systems in Flood Zone Normal
In areas where there are flooded streets the sewer system may be "sluggish". It will work but the waste water may run away slowly. That should be considered "normal". If fixtures (toilets, sinks, etc.) are below street level (for example, in the basement), don't use them. Try to block off basement floor drains or fixtures such as sinks that are below street level.
Fredericton Non-Emergency Flood Info Line 506-460-2996
Canadian Red Cross 1-888-893-1300
NB Power 1-800-663-6272
NB River Watch 2008 www.gnb.ca/riverwatch
River Watch (Fredericton Info) www.fredericton.ca
Media Contact: Cpl. Bobbi Simmons, Public Information Officer, City of Fredericton, (506) 461-9538.