N.B. roads, bridges suffer damage after heavy rain

News source from CTV News

An extreme ‘January thaw’ has once again become a frozen hazard in New Brunswick, adding more complications to the growing list of flood damaged roads and homes.

The rain has stopped and the clean-up is well underway, but many are still on watch tonight, with water levels remaining high throughout the province.

“We have a lot of high water around the province, fast flowing water and ice moving,” says Greg MacCallum, Director of New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization.

A portion of Route 101 in Hoyt, N.B. is covered with frozen debris. On Saturday it was covered with water.

The Bell covered bridge near Hoyt, which was built in 1931, has been damaged by rushing water.

Mild temperatures and a downpour of rain have created a powerful flow of water throughout the province. Water levels have been going down, but the risk is not over yet.

Rivers and streams being jammed with ice and debris has been a worry all weekend. That’s the case in Magaguadavic River in Charlotte County.

“This jam has the potential to cause additional localized flooding, so for that reason we are asking personnel who live in those locations to ensure they have a plan necessary to leave their homes, and to have everything in their emergency kit when they do so,” says MacCallum.

A rescue was carried out in the Fredericton Junction area Saturday evening.

“Our staff were placing some signs in the process of closing that road and heard him yelling for help, so they took their bravery and went through the deep cold water, and rescued the man and his dog,” says Tony Desjardins, of the New Brunswick Department of Transportation and Infrastructure.

15 vehicles were stranded on the river ferry between Grand Bay-Westfield and Hardings Point, N.B. around 5:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

“A tug boat was engaged to tow that ferry, however, it experienced some difficulty going through the ice. A second tugboat was brought in later that evening and we managed to tug the ferry to shore around 11:30 P.M.

Power outages have been an issue as well.

“17,500 of our customers lost electricity at one point or another,” says Marc Belliveau, a spokesperson with NB Power.

Some customers remain without power Sunday night.

“Yesterday with the ferezing rain, it was affecting mostly Kent County, so Bouchtouche, that area up north, Richibuto, Rexton area,” adds Belliveau.

A weekend of extreme weather, that will continue to impact the week to come.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Nick Moore.

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