FREDERICTON – The worst of the flooding is over in much of New Brunswick, but high tides on the Bay of Fundy, where the swollen St. John River drains, are expected to keep water levels above the flood stage in the lower reaches of the river.
Nancy Moar, a spokeswoman for the City of Saint John, says water levels decreased slightly Sunday night, but officials were anticipating a particularly high tide at midnight Monday night.
“We really don’t know what to expect, so we’re just continuing to monitor,” Moar said in an interview.
When the tide rises on the bay, the elevated water level acts like a damn, preventing the St. John from emptying.
The bay’s tides are considered the highest in the world.
The phenomenon, which also creates the so-called reversing falls at Saint John, has been blamed for making the flooding worse along the length of the 670-kilometre-long river.
Meanwhile, more than 90 homeowners in Saint John have registered with evacuation officials in recent days, although there’s no precise figure on how many have actually fled.
As well, the municipal water supplies in Saint John and Fredericton have been declared safe.
But Health Department officials are telling anyone with a well in flood-affected areas to boil their water until they’ve had the well tested.
“Your personal water supply could be compromised, particularly if you see water around your well head,” said Dr. Eilish Cleary, deputy chief medical officer for New Brunswick.
“In those circumstances, even if you don’t know that the water has been impacted, it’s important to treat it as if it has been.”
Boil orders remain in effect for seven communities in northwestern New Brunswick.
More than 300 homes remain without power around the province, and NB Power advises that anyone seeking reconnection must first have their home inspected by a licenced electrical contractor.