The Great Flood of 2018

Flooding on Winslow

The spring of 2018 will go down in history as the year of the great flood, a flood that swept rapidly across the province, leaving an abundance of damage in its wake. Historically high flood levels affected communities along the St. John River Valley and, as the water began to encroach dangerously on their properties, many tenants, residents and business owners were forced to evacuate their homes, with little time to safeguard them against the rising tides.

David had the chance to check in on some of the people in Fredericton South who were affected, and to see first-hand what they were going through. Thankfully, the waters of the St. John River have receded, giving residents in the affected communities up and down the St. John River Valley, a chance to begin recovery.

While the threat of flooding may no longer occupy the minds of New Brunswickers, the damage left behind is another matter. With that in mind, the Government of New Brunswick is asking anyone impacted by the flood to report it on the damage report line: 1-888-298-8555.

Reporting flood damage will enable the government to assess needs and provide government services like water testing as well as health and safety inspections. It will enable public safety to coordinate debris removal and provide a gateway to provincial and federal funding to help business and homeowners with their clean-up costs.

“With the worst behind us, and with people returning to their homes, the government must start thinking long-term about the realities of climate change and policies to adapt and mitigate its worst impacts,” David said. “We have to find ways to move people away from river banks as was done in Perth-Andover after the devastating flood in 2012, and we have to start thinking about our forests and wetlands as natural infrastructure with the potential to help slow run-off of snow melt, and mitigate the rapid flooding that we observed this year. This kind of long-term thinking takes political courage because it runs right up against the short-termism of four-year election cycles and quarterly financial results. Short-term thinking, however, is a high-risk business, as the St. John River flood of 2018 reminds us all.”