Flooding leads Sussex to open temporary shelter

Sussex has closed the emergency shelter it set up earlier Friday, when heavy rain and high winds were pounding parts of southern New Brunswick

Water levels in Trout Creek peaked at 1:30 pm, and the water has been subsiding.

Rainfall warnings have also ended.

The flooding forced the Town of Sussex to open Kingswood University Chapel on Wesley Drive for residents in need of temporary shelter.

A member of the town’s emergency operations center was dispatched to review high water levels and ice jamming on Parsons Brook and Wards Creek, the town said earlier.

Water levels in Trout Creek also rose.

Sussex-Fundy-St. Martins MLA Tammy Scott-Wallace took to social media after Sussex and Sussex Corner began seeing floodwaters.

“The worry, work and expense these floods cause is immense, I know from living it myself,” she wrote. “Everyone holds their breath in the Sussex area when big rain events are announced. It’s a terrible way to live.”

Mike Stevens, who lives in Sussex Corner, said eight inches of water had flooded his basement by Friday afternoon.

Mike Stevens, Sussex Corner resident, said his basement has already flooded with eight inches of water. (Shane Magee / CBC)

Stevens said flooding has been an issue since he moved to Sussex Corner in 2005. The last big flood for him happened in December 2020, when water rose six to eight inches (about 15 to 20 centimeters) up over his basement windows, he said.

Compared to then, this flood seems minor, he said. Still, flooding hurts the value of a house and causes safety issues.

“This, 15 years ago, it was OK. I could fight it. Now that I’m in my 50s, no, I do not want to fight this anymore.”

Stevens said he refinishes his basement every time it’s flooded, but he has neighbors who do not even use their basements.

Sussex supplies dumpsters to help with the aftermath, and sometimes the government helps out, but Stevens said the situation is discouraging.

“I pay the same amount of taxes as they do up in the hill, and they get no water and we do.”

NB awash in weird weather with latest storm

Pummelling winds, bucketing rain cause outages, floods in greater Saint John area 2:02

Some schools closed Friday

The rainstorm caused problems elsewhere in the province as well, including school closures and power outages. About 4,000 NB Power customers, especially in Saint John and the Kennebecasis Valley, were without power in the morning, but the number had dropped to about 2,200 by mid-afternoon.

Environment Canada issued rainfall, wind and flash freeze warnings in southern New Brunswick, where up to 60 millimeters of rain and 90 km / h winds were expected during the day.

Schools in Anglophone East School District stayed closed, Anglophone West closed zones one and two, Francophone nord-ouest is closed and Francophone sud is closed everywhere except Fredericton, Oromocto, Saint John and Quispamsis. Anglophone North is also closed.

The Town of Sussex has closed a number of streets in response to Friday’s flooding. (Shane Magee / CBC)

Geoffrey Downey, spokesperson for the provincial Emergency Measures Organization, said river flooding is not a likely threat. He said localized flooding from rain and snow melt is expected to pose the most challenges.

“With rain and the risk of flash freezing in the forecast, if driving is necessary, adjust speed and route to match road conditions,” he said in an email.

“In the past, significant rain and melt events have led to localized incidents of water pooling on roads and washouts.”

In Frederiction, several businesses and homes had flooded basements, including the Movement Vault, a dance studio in downtown.

Friday’s rainstorm has caused water levels to rise in Sussex. (Shane Magee / CBC)

In Saint John, several roads were closed and drivers were urged to drive with caution on others: Sackville also saw several road closures because of flooding.

Moncton spokesperson Isabelle LeBlanc said crews would start applying salt and sand as soon as temperatures drop below zero. She asked people to be on the lookout for flooding and report it by phone or through the city’s website.

Temperatures were expected to drop dramatically Friday night, causing pooling water and and slush to freeze suddenly.

Environment Canada also had freezing rain warnings in effect for northern New Brunswick except Madawaska and Restigouche counties, and snowfall warnings for Campbellton and eastern half of Restigouche County, and the western half of Restigouche County.

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