New Brunswickers are reminded to be cautious around waterways and watch for any potential flooding in their communities as River Watch was officially launched yesterday.
“Protecting our families and our communities is always first and foremost in our minds,” said Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General Stephen Horsman. “Although we have a significantly smaller snowpack this year than in previous years, it is important that we always remain vigilant at this time of year. I strongly encourage those who live or work near waterways to take extra care and have an emergency plan in place.”
The River Watch program is a joint effort between the Department of Environment and Local Government and the Department of Public Safety’s Emergency Measures Organization. Other partners include NB Power and federal, provincial and state agencies involved in monitoring and forecasting the water flow in the province’s rivers and streams.
“Our department’s Hydrology Centre provides an important service to New Brunswickers which helps to identify and forecast the potential for flood problems,” said Environment and Local Government Minister Brian Kenny. “I encourage New Brunswickers to visit the River Watch website throughout the season and to follow the Emergency Measures Organization on Twitter and Facebook for the latest information.”
Each morning officials will collect data from various partners and use it for river modeling and forecasting. The public will then be informed of potential risks that are identified.
During the River Watch season, New Brunswickers are reminded to:
- be prepared for possible flooding and have a plan to evacuate and to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours;
- move belongings to higher ground if their property is near a waterway or is in an area that is prone to flooding;
- avoid the banks of waterways as they become dangerous this time of year. The water is cold and currents are swift and could be carrying debris;
- report an ice jam or rising water. If you need advice, contact the Emergency Measures Organization at 1-800-561-4034; and
- read helpful tips, the latest forecasts and public advisories by visiting the River Watch website, by following the Emergency Measures Organization on Twitter and Facebook.
Weather warnings, traffic advisories and road conditions are also available online.