The River Watch program officially started on Monday, March 13th, to provide New Brunswickers with information on the status of rivers, potential risks of ice jams, and other flood issues across the province over the coming weeks.
“New Brunswickers are reminded to be cautious around waterways and watch for any potential for flooding,” said Justice and Public Safety Minister Denis Landry. “It is always hard to predict exactly where flooding can happen. Those who live or work near waterways should always take extra care and have an emergency plan in place.”
The River Watch program is a joint effort between the Department of Environment and Local Government and the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization. Other partners include NB Power, watershed groups, and federal, provincial and state agencies involved in monitoring and forecasting the water flow in the province’s rivers and streams.
“Our department’s Hydrology Centre provides an important service to New Brunswickers by forecasting flows and water levels for the Saint John River basin and monitoring other areas of concern,” said Environment and Local Government Minister Serge Rousselle. “I encourage New Brunswickers to visit the River Watch website throughout the season and to follow the Emergency Measures Organization on Twitter and Facebook for the latest information.”
Each morning officials will receive a weather briefing, collect data from various sources, and use that information for river modeling and forecasting. The public will then be informed of any potential risks that are identified.
During the River Watch season, New Brunswickers are reminded:
- be prepared for possible flooding and have a plan to evacuate and be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours;
- move 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. The water is cold and currents are swift and could be carrying debris;
- as ice continues to deteriorate, it may become unsafe to cross waterways on foot, snowmobiles and ATVs;
- report ice jams or rising water. If you need advice, contact the Emergency Measures Organization at 1-800-561-4034; and
- read helpful tips, the latest forecasts and public advisories by visiting the River Watch website, or by following the Emergency Measures Organization on Twitter and Facebook.
Weather warnings, traffic advisories and road conditions are also available online.