Home > News > News Releases > City of Saint John River Watch Update - April 25, 2019

City of Saint John River Watch Update - April 25, 2019

25-Apr-2019

(SAINT JOHN, NB) Water levels in Saint John continue to rise. Flood levels are 5.48 metres today, and current projections indicate we could reach 5.6 metres by Friday (last year’s high-peak flood level was 5.76 metres).

Early evacuation is recommended

voluntary evacuation notice remains in place for residents in flood-impacted areas due to serious flooding or isolation. These areas include Randolph Island (Milford), Ragged Point Road, and South Bay (along the Westfield Road between Gault Road and Grenville Lane) and any other area experiencing flooding or isolation due to rising floodwaters. If you require assistance evacuating from your home, please contact 648-3333 for assistance.

Anyone who chooses to evacuate should register with the Canadian Red Cross by calling 1-800-863-6582 or visiting the Reception Centre at 82 Market Place West (Carleton Community Centre) between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Residents who choose to stay home should be aware of the risks. They may not be able to access essentials like food, medicine and water for several days, and emergency response will be delayed. It is best to make a decision to self-evacuate early, and during daylight hours.

Be advised that regular shuttle service in and out of isolated and flooded areas is not available at this time. Boat assets and a light armoured vehicle are available for public safety purposes including emergency response, wellness checks and evacuation assistance only.  

Important contact information:

For support with non-emergency evacuations, call 648-3333

For emergencies, call 911

For The Canadian Red Cross services, call 1-800-863-6582

For Saint John Energy, call 658-5252

To report damages to City infrastructure, call 658-4455

Road Closures (as of 10:00 a.m.)

  • Westfield Road (near Gault Road intersection; detour on Gault)
  • Westfield Road (at civic 1338 near Grenville Lane)
  • Lawrence Long Road (near the end)
  • Dominion Park Road (closed at Tippett and Green Head)
  • Park Road (at Tippett Drive)
  • Tippett Road (at civic #663 near Dominion Park)
  • By Road #7 (at civic #51 near the end)
  • Beach Road
  • Bravo Landing (Millidgeville Ferry Entry)
  • Farry Cove Lane (near the end)
  • Ragged Point Road (near the beach at the end)
  • Mellinger Crescent
  • Kennebecasis Drive
  • Randolph Bridge on Green Head Road
  • Pokiok Road at the Bridge
  • Bay Street (down to one lane)

Additional roads will be closed as flood waters rise. For updates, visit the City online.

Ragged Point Road is being built up to maintain access for residents; Westfield Road was built up yesterday

Crews are working along Ragged Point Road today, April 25, to raise the road near civic 172). The road will be closed to thru traffic (with access for emergency vehicles only) while the work is underway, from approximately 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today. Building up this area will maintain access for approximately 110 people.

Once the work is complete, we will notify the public and ask that traffic be limited to local area residents only.

Westfield Road near Mellinger Crescent was built up yesterday and a single lane is open to local area traffic. Weight restrictions on the road have been reduced to 10 tons. Traffic lights will remain in place. Please reduce your speed in the area and drive with caution.

The City is collecting volunteer information to help assist residents in need

Saint John EMO has received some requests from flood-impacted residents who need assistance moving personal items to higher ground this week. 

There will also be a need for a large number of volunteers to support the recovery effort once floodwaters begin to recede. If you require volunteer assistance or are able to volunteer your time to help those in need, please visit saintjohn.ca/riverwatch and complete the volunteer assistance form(s), or contact us by email at floodvolunteers@saintjohn.ca or phone our automated line at 658-2844. 

Avoid entering the water 

Residents should be very cautious around floodwaters, and avoid entering the water on foot or by boat. The water may contain biohazard contaminants from a variety of sources including raw sewage being diverted into the River from various communities, and coming from upstream. Currents are strong in many areas, water depth is unknown, and there is debris in the water. 

Respect barricades and avoid driving on any road that is covered with water

Consider your own safety and your neighbours! Do not drive on any roads covered by water. Doing so is dangerous, and causes wakes and other movement that can send water into nearby homes and cause serious damage. It can also cause damage to your vehicle.

Drivers are not permitted to move or drive around barricades. Ignoring or moving these barricades is an offence, and offenders will be charged. Given the scope of the flooding, not every barricade can be staffed by first responders. Whether or not barricades are staffed, they must be respected. 

People who ignore road closures are putting themselves in danger as well as any first responders who may be called to assist them. 

A list of the latest road closures is available online.

A Reception Centre is open at the Carleton Community Centre

A Reception Centre has been opened by the Saint John-EMO and Canadian Red Cross to assist Saint John residents displaced by flooding and chose to leave their homes. The Centre is able to offer residents who are displaced due to flooding with a safe place to register, make arrangement for accommodations, get more information, charge electronics, and receive other support services as required.   

The Location of the Carleton Community Centre is 82 Market Place West, Saint John, NB E2M 1B5

The Centre is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, until further notice. Outside of these hours, affected residents can contact the Canadian Red Cross at: 1-800-863-6582. Those who have chosen to leave their homes and stay with family or friends should register with the Canadian Red Cross so we know you are safe. 

Staying home - If you plan to stay at home and are in a flooded area, ensure you have enough water, food and supplies, including medications, for your family for at least 72 hours and take appropriate steps to minimize damages. By staying home, you also assume the risk of a delayed response to any emergency you may have.  

We ask all residents to check in on elderly or vulnerable neighbours. In the event of an emergency, call 911.

Sandbags are available for residents

Sandbags are available from two distribution centres for all City residents in need. Both locations are open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Municipal Salt Storage Building
406 Bay Street (located next to Ridgewood Veterans Wing)

Municipal Operations Building
Boars Head Road (located next to the Blue Bins)

The City has distributed close to 20,000 sandbags to residents since Sunday.

Report issues with water

Residents can report damages to City infrastructure by calling 658-4455. In case of emergency, call 911.

For recorded River Watch water levels, people may call 1-888-561-4048 and find the flood level five-day forecasts online.

Wellness checks are being conducted and a joint emergency response is ready

The SJEMO remains fully activated with all members to support the community.

Three members from the military (2 RCR) are in Saint John to support the flood response effort. They are working with members of the Saint John Police Force and Saint John Fire Department to conduct wellness checks and emergency response to flood-impacted areas.   

87 wellness checks were conducted yesterday, April 24. Wellness checks will continue on a 48-hour cycle until floodwaters recede from isolated areas. 

Saint John Energy is available to assist with disconnects to all flood impacted areas

Saint John Energy has activated its EOC and have equipment and vehicles placed in isolated areas where there is flooding. This access allows crews to reach isolated locations quickly in order to complete disconnects. They are also completing proactive wellness checks.

Customers are asked to make contact with Saint John Energy by calling 658-5252 if they are concerned about rising water reaching their electrical and/or rental hot water tanks/heat pumps. proactively placed trucks and equipment in the Dominion Park & Millidgeville area where there is a risk of road closures isolating our customers. This will allow us to boat our crews to the locations to complete disconnects if required.

Once the water has receded, Saint John Energy will have a reconnection process in place to ensure residents and properties are safe.

To date, 17 Saint John Energy customers have had their services disconnected due to flooding.

Be aware of carbon monoxide and fire safety

During a flood, the risk of fire or carbon monoxide exposure is greatly increased. Residents should heed the following guidelines to stay safe:

  • Never use generators, pumps or any other fuel-powered equipment indoors.
  • Powered equipment should always be placed at least four metres away from any structure.
  • In the event of a power outage or in de-energized homes, never use carbon-based fuels (such as kerosene, gas or fuel oil) indoors to heat or cook. These appliances generate carbon monoxide.
  • Temporary heating appliances such as propane or kerosene heaters should never be used indoors as they present a fire hazard.
  • If exposed to floodwaters, carbon-based fuel equipment should be inspected by professionals before use.
  • Residents should ensure their home is equipped with functioning battery-powered smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Use heating and drying equipment carefully. Keep combustible material away from devices that generate heat.

    Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur quickly. Anyone who believes they have been affected by carbon monoxide poisoning should go outside immediately and then go to the nearest hospital or call 911.

    Private well safety is important for those not on the Saint John Water systems

    People with private wells that are currently under floodwaters should not use their well water. If well water has a persistent odour or discolouration, or if residents believe it has been affected by chemicals such as furnace oil, gasoline or agricultural chemicals, it should not be used for any purpose, even if it has been boiled. More information about well water safety is available online.

    Residents concerned about the safety of their well water should contact the nearest regional office of the Department of Environment and Local Government for further information.

    Saint John Water is not experiencing any concerns to their drinking water service.

    Watch for wildlife on roads

    Drivers are urged to watch for wildlife on roads. With water rising, some animals will be seeking higher ground as their natural territories will become covered by water. The presence of wildlife on roads should be reported to local authorities.

    Dealing with mould and mildew

    Follow these important tips to avoid the health hazards of mould and mildew after flooding.

  • Immediate action is important, as houses and furnishings are less likely to grow mould if contents are dried within 48 hours of water receding.
  • Avoid skin contact with contaminated material. During cleanup, be sure to wear personal protective equipment, such as gloves, a mask and goggles to protect eyes, nose, mouth and skin. People should wash their hands frequently with clean warm water and soap.
  • It is important to use a good soap or detergent, and lots of hot water when cleaning. In order to prevent toxic fumes, do not mix cleaning products together, especially bleach and ammonia.
  • After cleaning, open doors and windows to air thoroughly and help the drying process.

    Tips for dealing with stress in an emergency

    It is normal for residents to feel anxious about their own safety during an emergency situation, even if they are not directly affected. People react in different ways to stressful events.  If in crisis, there are several 24-hour emergency numbers that are available to help, including CHIMO helpline (1-800-667-5005); Tele-Care (811); and Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868). Some employers also offer EFAP services that can be contacted.

    Safe food-handling is important

    During and following a flood, affected residents should take precautions to reduce possible risks to their health by practising safe food-handling. They should be sure to carefully inspect all food items and avoid eating any food that may not be safe. Spoiled food may not look contaminated. When in doubt, throw it out.

    When handling refrigerated and frozen food after a power failure, discard any thawed food that has been at room temperature for two or more hours, and any food that has an unusual colour or odour. Foods that have damaged packaging, such as packages that are crushed or dented or have deep rusting, as well as packages that have holes, leakage, punctures or swelling, should be discarded.

    People should not eat any food that may have come into contact with animal waste, chemicals, floodwater, snow, ice, soil or dirt.

    Baby formula containers, cardboard juice containers, home-canned foods and milk containers that have been in contact with floodwater or hazardous material should be thrown away.

    Cooking and eating utensils should be cleaned of all deposits. They should be rinsed, sanitized in a mild bleach solution, and then air dried. After following these steps, utensils used for infant feeding must be boiled for two minutes before use.

    Information to residents

    People are reminded to:

  • Consider moving belongings to higher ground if their property is near a waterway or is in an area that is prone to flooding.
  • Avoid the banks of waterways, as they become dangerous this time of year.
  • Avoid boating, kayaking or other water activities this time of year as currents are strong and may carry debris. As well, people should stay away from the edge of the river while walking.
  • Stay connected by visiting the City’s River Watch website, or by following the City and other emergency officials on Twitter and Facebook.

Stay safe, Saint John and please continue to look out for one another and check on your neighbours, family and friends.

 


 
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Corporate Communications
City of Saint John
11th floor, City Hall
(506) 649-6008
saintjohn.ca