- On Friday, officials warned that it’s still too early to predict what will happen during the upcoming flood season.
- The main driver of flooding, as per Don Fox, director of the Environment Department’s air and water sciences, is day-to-day weather.
Spring conditions are expected to impact water levels along the Saint John River in New Brunswick. However, officials cautioned on Friday that it is still too early to predict what will happen during the upcoming flood season.
New Brunswick River Watch officials informed reporters that snowpack conditions throughout the province were similar to last year when there was minimal flooding. However, Snow depth is only one factor that could influence the extent of potential flooding across the river and its tributaries, according to the experts.
According to Don Fox, director of the Environment Department’s air and water sciences, the main driver of flooding is day-to-day weather.
“There might be a significant flood, no flood at all, or someplace in between,” he stated, regardless of the state of the snowpack.
Overall, the snow depth in the Upper Saint John River Valley is similar to last year, according to Fox, who added “slightly less” snow in the province’s southern areas than last year.
He stated, “There is still a lot of water in the snowpack as well as a lot of snow.” “Things could get worse if it all comes down at once, so I wouldn’t make a prediction this far out.”
According to Fox, a further factor that could cause severe flooding is ice jams, especially if there is a substantial freeze before a thaw.
He also stated that the most recent flood forecast issued on Friday does not predict any overland flooding in the coming days.
“Water levels in many of our rivers are currently very low, so our rivers can still take a reasonable amount of water without causing problems,” Fox explained.
Despite two good years in 2020 and 2021, officials warn that people should take precautions, such as moving their possessions to higher ground if their homes are near a waterway or are prone to flooding.
Rising water levels in late April and early May of 2018 caused some of the worst floodings in recent memory, causing damage to homes and cottages as well as the temporary closure of the Trans-Canada Highway near Jemseg, N.B.
The director of the Emergency Measures Organization, Greg MacCallum, said it’s still a “toss-up” how the overall conditions will affect potential flooding.
“This is the start of a very thorough examination of our river system,” MacCallum said. “Rapidly rising temperatures followed by heavy rainfall events are something we never want to see.”
Source: CBC News
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