Nearly 10,000 people in New Brunswick were without power Saturday morning as heavy rains pummelled the province, forcing some people in the southwest part of the province to leave their homes due to risk of flooding.
The town of Sussex is advising evacuation of parts of the area “as soon as possible” as conditions may have become unstable.
An emergency shelter has been set up at Kingswood University in Sussex and those in need of immediate assistance or transportation are advised to call 9-1-1, according to a notice from town officials.
“Please take steps to secure your home and bring any medications and essentials with you before travelling to the shelter,” the notice says.
“Please also make arrangements for care of your pets as you may not be able to return to your home for a period of time.”
This morning, Robert Duguay, communications director for New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization, said those in the Sussex area were most likely to experience flooding over the weekend, and should remain “alert and aware.”
Thousands without power
As of 11 a.m., 10,078 people are without power in the province, according to NB Power’s website.
Most of the outages are concentrated in the Kennebecasis Valley area, where 8,612 people have no electricity.
Marc Belliveau, a communications officer with NB Power, said the outages in this area are related to trees falling on power lines.
In one instance in the Quispamsis area, a tree broke, fell onto power lines and then fell on lines again after crews had lifted it off, he said.
Most of the outages are expected to be resolved Saturday morning, according to NB Power’s online outage map.
Flash freezes, heavy rain make for bad roads
Environment Canada has issued weather warnings, varying from flash freezes, to heavy rain, freezing rain and snow, for every part of the province this weekend. Some northern areas are expected to experience a mix of all four, making for a messy 48 hours.
People in New Brunswick are being warned about slick driving conditions, flooding and power outages as heavy rain moves across most of the province.
“With the amount of snow currently on the ground and temperatures reaching the positive double digits, substantial snow-melt and run-off is expected with the rainfall, which could lead to flooding and potential ice jams on rivers,” the weather agency said in a statement.
“Heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads.”
The New Brunswick EMO held a news conference Friday to caution residents about the likelihood of slippery surfaces for both vehicles and pedestrians, and about power outages.
It also warned residents about the possibility of flooding in some areas.
In addition to the Sussex area, Duguay said anyone living near the Kennebecasis and Canaan Rivers are also at risk of flooding and should be vigilant, he said.
Duguay advised motorists to avoid roads covered by water as it could be dangerous.
“Water may be deeper than it appears.”
Residents experiencing flooding can report issues to EMO by calling 1-800-561-4034.
If it’s an emergency, Duguay advised calling 911.