Friday, May 02, 2008

Fredericton Is Flooding!!

It's been all over the news that Fredericton is experiencing a major flood. This winter they had a particularly high snowfall and now it's melting along with all of the ice in the river. Add spring rain to that and the water in the Saint John River is rising fast. Here is a map of the area surrounding Fredericton.


View Larger Map


The blue is, of course, the river. It flows from North to South. Near the town marked Keswick, there is a hydro-electric dam. It's holding back a lot of water. Every year, everyone says "I sure hope the dam holds."

OK, the river rises in the springtime. Places on the north side flood more so than the south side, which is the side I grew up on. But I lived on Waterloo Row which is right across the street from the river. We would quite often have the water crest the banks, and sometimes spill over, but it didn't very often make it to the road. Down the street from me was a bridge overpass and the dip underneath filled up with water every year. And every year, some numbskull would try to drive through it and have their car stall. I'm not kidding. Every year.

In 1973, Fredericton had one of the worst floods on record for the area. Water levels reached 8.63 metres. That translates to 28.3 feet! I remember my mom waking me up in the middle of the night and we had to flee our home and go stay with a gentleman my dad worked with who lived on higher ground. The only way people could get around was in boats. My father has some pretty neat pictures of the events. I was 9 at the time, but remember a lot of it. Scary yet exciting, happy there was no school, feeling odd at staying in someone else's house, missing my own home with my own things - all kinds of emotion. Of course, being that young, the thoughts of damage - millions of dollars worth, people losing their homes, possessions, livelihood, etc. never entered my mind.

This year, it's gearing up to be as bad as 1973. My parents have sinced moved from that house on Waterloo Row and are in no danger of flooding. My mom lives in Oromocto, and across the river is Burton which was featured on the TV news. So far, she's OK. My mom went downtown a couple of days ago and sent me some photos. ( Dreena might recognize some of it from her university days) Click the photos for a larger view.

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This is the Westmorland Street bridge that goes from the downtown core to the north side.
















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I guess that on-ramp is closed.
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This is downtown. I used to go for tap-dancing lessons in that building. .

















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Officer's Square downtown. They have music in the park here in the summertime.















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A different shot of Officer's Square. Just to the left of the lighthouse is a statue of Winston Churchill. He was a strong man, especially during WWII, but he's looking a little scared to me here.














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Look at the parking meters! I think that red brick building to the very left is the library. I'd like to know what brainiac decides that a great place to build a library is overlooking a river that floods every spring.

If you're interested, here's a link to a story that was on CTV News, and one on CNN.
Here's a link to a provincial government site with a lot of aerial photos from all around NB.

Please say prayers for all of these people and for my hometown. It's such a nice place.

6 comments:

Melody Polakow said...

Wow.. those are bad floods!!

My thoughts and prayers are with all fo you..

Tanya Kristine said...

well that is very scary...i do hope for some good dry weather coming your way. and get simon some water boots!

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

that's a lot of water. i pray the damn holds tight and that everybody is safe. thanks for sharing the photos & story. take care!!

Tanya Kristine said...

how's it going Carrie?

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