Things have taken a turn for the better over the past couple days in Perth Andover, where flood warnings and a voluntary evacuation have had residents on high alert for at least 4 days. As of this morning the voluntary evacuation has been lifted, but as News Source 8’s Angela Christoforos reports, residents believe more can be done to prevent flood disasters from inflicting the flood-prone village…
Perth-Andover residents are breathing a sigh of relief after 4 long days of flood warnings and a voluntary evacuation that was called off as of 10 o’clock Monday morning.
Perth-Andover Public Information Officer Justine Waldeck said, “We were nervous that the flood waters would be going over the roads and we were prepared to call a mandatory evacuation but luckily things leveled off and the water decided to decrease and go down.”
For now, the coast is clear. There’s certainly no guarantee that another devastating flood isn’t in the future, but some residents believe they can be prevented. Perth-Andover has been prone to flooding for years and several residents have said that the Beechwood dam below the village has only made it worse. It’s a power dam owned by NB Power that was built in the 50’s.
Perth-Andover Chief Administrative Officer Dan Dionne said, “If you look at all of the records in floods in Perth-Andover the first record of any basement flooding was after the Beechwood dam was constructed.”
Perth-Andover Resident Joseph Gee said, “It didn’t always flood like this in the past so we really need to take a better look at what’s causing this type of flooding, it may be sedimentation in the head ponds if it is we need to think about dredging.”
Village Officials say the problem with the Beechwood dam is it doesn’t spill ice. So what results is a major ice jam, and potentially a major flood.
“We end up with well over 100 kilometers of river ice shoved in between here and the dam. I don’t know if it’s a flaw in the design or the head pond just wasn’t designed big enough originally, but certainly something needs to be done for it,” said Dionne.
Residents say the piers in the river are another possible contributor, and the power dams affect the natural flow of the river. Village Officials say preventative maintenance procedures like developing a head pond management plan could help in preventing flood risk in the future.
Clarkson University is doing a study on possible river mitigation options for the Perth-Andover community with ioptions Including dredging, ice breaking, and removing piers. The report is expected to be released by the summer.