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New Brunswick premier urges caution as floodwaters continue to rise

Streets and sidewalks are flooded from heavy rain on Foresthill Road in Fredericton, N.B. on Saturday, April 20, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Stephen MacGillivray

FREDERICTON — Rising floodwaters have forced the closure of at least 25 roads in western New Brunswick, where the premier is urging residents to do what they can to protect their families and property.

Premier Blaine Higgs issued a brief statement saying New Brunswickers are facing severe flooding in several communities.

The province’s Public Safety Department says the Saint John River Basin is now beyond or nearly at flood stage in Clair, Saint-Hilaire and Edmundston in the north, and in Fredericton, Maugerville, Jemseg and Sheffield-Lakeville Corner in the south.

The department says residents in other communities along the river should remain on high alert in the coming days as water levels are still rising.

Heavy rain and a rapid snowmelt are being blamed for the flooding, which isn’t unusual at this time of year.

About 120 soldiers from Canadian Forces Base Gagetown in southern New Brunswick were expected to help residents fill sandbags and, if necessary, evacuate their homes.

“Residents should know that they aren’t alone in these difficult times,” Higgs said in a statement. “Impacted residents should not hesitate to seek assistance and to take steps, where safely possible, to protect their family and property.”

The Canadian Press