Welcome To
Acadia Broadcasting NewsThe Latest and Greatest ContentYour Trusted Local Source


A Canadian Red Cross staff member walks through high floodwaters in Saint John in 2019. Image: Submitted

Officials prepare for spring flood season

By Brad Perry Mar 14, 2023 | 5:28 PM

Officials in New Brunswick are hoping for another quiet spring flood season this year.

The annual River Watch program launched Tuesday ahead of the annual spring freshet.

Don Fox with the Department of Environment and Local Government said it is hard to predict what this year will look like.

“There’s enough snow that we could see a very severe flood season this year, or we could have a great season. Everything depends on the weather,” said Fox, director of the department’s air and water sciences branch.

Officials said snow depths are below normal in the lower Saint John River basin but higher than what we saw last year. In northwestern New Brunswick, there is more snow than usual on the ground.

There is also more water in the snowpack this year compared to last, but officials said it is about on-par with the long-term average.

According to forecasters, the outlook for March to May calls for near or above-normal temperatures and near or below-normal precipitation levels.

But as the director of the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization pointed out, it only takes one weather event to cause problems.

“A rapid increase in temperature combined with heavy rain can increase water levels quickly,” said Kyle Leavitt.

Ideally, Leavitt said warm days and cool nights will help melt the snowpack more gradually, reducing the likelihood of major flooding.

Officials also have to monitor for ice jams, which Leavitt said can cause rapid water rise and flooding in areas that would not normally experience it

Each morning, River Watch officials receive a weather briefing and collect data from several sources to develop river models and forecasts, which will be made available online and on the River Watch mobile site.

You can learn more about the spring freshet and how to prepare for potential flooding on the River Watch website.


Leave a Reply