Simon Barton, left, and Chelsea Burley wear make shift waders of garbage bags and packing tape as they cross a flooded road in Saint John, N.B. on Sunday, May 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Floodwaters in New Brunswick to rise for another day

Swollen rivers across New Brunswick are still rising, flooding streets and properties

Floodwaters are expected to continue rising for one more day before beginning to stabilize in Saint John, N.B., officials said Monday as the extent of the damage was becoming clearer in the deluged province.

Geoffrey Downey of the Emergency Measures Organization said water levels along much of the Saint John River had already stabilized. The level in Fredericton has not been below 8.0 metres — or 1.5 metres above flood stage — for 10 days, but is expected to drop to 7.3 by Wednesday, he said.

“While it’s good news the river isn’t going up, it’s still tremendously high,” he said.

He said the amount of water coming from the north of the province and passing through the Mactaquac Dam above Fredericton is finally decreasing.

“The amount of water coming through between Sunday and the forecast for Thursday would be less than half.”

Related: N.B. flooding hits record levels — with more rain in the forecast

Pictures being posted on social media show cottages and campers in the Grand Lake area completely destroyed or floating away. But, damage to cottages is not eligible for coverage under the province’s Disaster Financial Assistance program.

That program, announced last week, is to help businesses, municipalities and individuals who have suffered damage during the current flood. The maximum assistance for private homes is $160,000 and $500,000 for small businesses and not-for-profit organizations. Coverage is provided to repair and clean structures and to replace basic necessities, but is not available for recreational properties.

Downey said it will take days before water in most of the river’s lower basin begins to recede.

More than 1,050 people have registered with the Red Cross to say they have evacuated their homes, while many others have left to stay with family or friends without registering.

The Red Cross has launched a fundraising effort to assist flood victims.

The RCMP say three men in their 20s using a canoe were arrested Sunday following an attempted theft from a flooded home in the Maugerville area near Fredericton. The owner of the home was inside at the time, and no one was hurt and nothing was taken.

The Trans-Canada Highway between Fredericton and Moncton is closed, and floodwaters have cut off all roads in and out of the community of Chipman, but Downey said crews are working to upgrade a route so that emergency vehicles have access to the community.

Related: Mobile home park under evacuation due to flooding in Merritt

Related: Disaster Financial Assistance made available in TNRD

The Canadian Press

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