For the last few weeks, people in Fredericton and along the Saint John river valley have been anxiously watching the water levels in the river to watch if the river will flood as in 2008.
After a near record snowfall in the winter of 2008-2009, warm and wet weather early in April quickly rose the river levels. After rising to the flood level of 6.5 m in Fredericton around April 8th, cooler and drier weather allowed the snow melt to slow down. This allowed the river level to drop more than two meters to 4.35 m, providing people living near the flood zone some breathing room.
And the Saint John River rises
Due to a lot of rain and warmer weather over the last week or so, the river is back on the rise. New Brunswick’s Riverwatch is now forecasting a rise past the flood stage on Friday morning and rising to 7.0 m on Saturday morning. Although the weather forecast is calling for dry weather for the next few days, the temperature is also forecasted to rise to over 20 degrees which will increase the rate of melting for the remaining snow that is left on the ground.
Even with the river rising over the official flood level of 6.5 m, at 7.0 m damage to low lying areas should be fairly minimal although I would imagine that a few basements will be flooded. The river would have to rise over another meter in order to attain last year’s high water mark of 8.35 m ( Map – PDF ) at which point there was extensive damage to many building along the waterfront.
- Environment Canada’s real time hydrometric data shows present and past river levels through New Brunswick and the rest of Canada
- The city of Fredericton has a Riverwatch site with information including maps of previous flood levels and flood prone areas of the city
- The province of New Brunswick’s Riverwatch site has detailed river level forecasts as well as additional planning and emergency information
- The city of Fredericton has a few webcams which can give you a view of the current river levels