The New Brunswick community of Perth-Andover announced a voluntary evacuation for low lying areas last night due to an anticipated rise in water and ice levels. And as News Source 8′s Angela Christoforos reports, that voluntary evacuation has still been in effect all day today…
Perth-Andover Resident Larry Sutherland said, “The river here yesterday was about, for about 3 hours was full. Nothing but ice running here.”
That ice and rise in water levels lead to a voluntary evacuation of lower lying areas in Perth-Andover Wednesday evening.
Perth-Andover Public Information Officer Justine Waldeck said, “Firefighters went on scene and went door to door handed out notices and those who left called and registered to let us know where they were relocating to.”
Twenty three residents heeded that warning, and the Red Cross set up an Emergency Center at the Perth-Andover middle school.
Perth-Andover Resident Lenny Langille said, “I didn’t want to take a chance because I have a dog and I didn’t want water in my apartment or my dog to freeze to death.”
From Wednesday to Thursday the mayor says water in the St. John River has risen between 8 to 12 feet. And a huge ice jam in Grand Falls could put the village at an even higher risk.
Perth-Andover Mayor Terry Ritchie said, “It’s a massive jam it’s about a 20 kilometer ice jam right about Grand Falls and all the way up to Saint Anne and above that there’s more compact ice.”
The Hotel Dieux hospital was evacuated Wednesday as a pre-cautionary measure, cause there’s no guarantee alternate routes will be open during the height of the flood crisis.
Although Perth-Andover is not in any immediate danger of water crossing the streets in Village Limits, the mayor says even minor flooding would have devastating consequences on local businesses.
“If there’s even an inch of water on the Bank of Nova Scotia over here it will have to close. Last time it closed for 5 months. That’s a big blow to a little village like this,” said Ritchie.
The community will stay under voluntary evacuation until the ice above Grand Falls has been released. Village officials are waiting on projections from NB Power monitoring the flow and the possibility of it resulting in a mandatory flood evacuation.
The Perth-Andover Mayor says the voluntary evacuation will probably still be in place throughout the weekend and possibly even until Monday.