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Flooding in New Brunswick

New Brunswickers living in flood-prone communities are being urged to stay vigilant as cleanup from this week's flooding continues.

In the northwestern village of Perth-Andover, municipal officials warned Friday that while water levels dropped temporarily overnight, they were expected to continue fluctuating.

Village spokeswoman Justine Waldeck said the breakup of ice along the St. John River and at the dam at Grand Falls also remained a cause for concern.

"In the coming days, the ice above Grand Falls will eventually give way and we will see that ice come through the dam and then come into our community," Waldeck said in an interview.

"If we get another 2 1/2 feet (of water) in town, then it will start to cross at our lower lying areas."

Mayor Terry Ritchie called Wednesday for a voluntary evacuation amid fears the St. John River could flood parts of the village, which experienced severe flooding in March 2012. Waldeck said the voluntary evacuation remained in effect Friday.

"After the 2012 flood, it's still fresh in everybody's mind, so they've (residents) responded very well and have been very co-operative," said Waldeck. "We're very pleased and very thankful."

A spokesman for the Department of Public Safety said the province's rivers were too unpredictable for residents to let their guard down.

Paul Bradley said water levels were expected to rise in the coming days in communities near Fredericton, including Jemseg and Maugerville. He said officials were also keeping a close eye on ice jams in Sainte-Anne-de-Madawaska and Doaktown.

"Even in those places where they're cleaning up, you never know with the amount of water and snow that's still around, there could still be impacts," he said. "We want everyone to remain vigilant and watch water levels."

Premier David Alward spent Thursday touring areas of the province that were submerged earlier this week when heavy rain and ice jams caused rivers and streams to spill their banks.

During a stop in Sussex, Alward said the government's priority is to ensure residents are safe. Crews were expected to begin inspecting homes Friday in the town to determine whether they're safe for residents.

Homeowners and businesses affected by flooding were also being advised to register with Service New Brunswick.

A number of areas throughout Eastern Canada, including Ontario and Quebec, have been contending with floods in recent days.

 

The Canadian Press

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