A voluntary evacuation was ordered in Perth-Andover Wednesday night due to flood risk. Fear has heightened in the village since the New Brunswick Emergency Measures organization issued a warning Friday night stating the village is at risk of reaching the same devastating flood levels of 2012. And as News Source 8’s Angela Christoforos reports, residents were on high alert…
William Deleavey, who works in Perth-Andover said, “It’s scary, there’s a lot of people in Perth if we get another flood I don’t know what’s going to happen to Perth but it’s really really scary.”
A warning released by the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization Friday night had Perth-Andover Residents in a state of panic over the weekend; stating the village has the potential to reach the same devastating flood levels of 2012.
Tobique First Nation resident Andy Nicholas said, “It happens in minutes, hours, you know it’s scary the force of water.”
Village officials were concerned if the ice jam above Grand Falls were to break, it could flood Perth-Andover due to a 2nd ice jam just below the village in Muniac. But from Friday to Saturday, Perth-Andover Mayor Terry Ritchie said the water levels had dropped at least 3 feet.
“Right now it looks very remote, that doesn’t mean it can’t happen because St. John is what you call a flashy river it can go up and down so quickly,” said Ritchie.
Perth-Andover Public Information Officer Justine Waldeck said, “We’re still monitoring it and we are still being very cautious but we’re a little more positive after we’ve seen the levels go down overnight.”
Although water in the St. John River resided significantly and has created space for more water they may come through when the ice jam above Grand Falls does break, officials say you can never be too prepared for a disaster.
Member of Legislative Assembly of Victoria-Tobique Wes Mclean said, “People are naturally on edge because we have a history of flooding 2012 was the worst flood in our history.”
And all Perth-Andover residents can hope is that history doesn’t repeat itself.
” I hope it’s not wishful thinking but I really believe we’ve dodged the bullet. I think that could change instantly if the ice continues to jam up below us if the jam breaks too early up above us. But I actually think it’s just draining away,” said Ritchie.
In the meantime residents are urged to remain prepared, and keep at high ground.
Residents in need of assistance or accommodation can go to the Perth-Andover Middle School at 20 Nissen Street where the Red Cross is set up, and residents staying with friends and family are still encouraged to register with the Red Cross.