Residents in the village of Chipman are banding together to help get through this devastating flooding.
Every road leading into and out of the community, about an hour east of Fredericton, has been closed due to rising water levels along Grand Lake.
“We’re essentially an island in the middle of the province,” says Tom Gillett, who is part of the village’s Emergency Measures Organization..
The province says emergency vehicles and half-ton trucks can use Bronson Settlement Road, but Gillett says that’s not a good idea because it’s extremely muddy and there’s no cell service.
The village does have a plan for emergencies — CN Rail is providing a bus that travels on train tracks, which can move patients out of the isolated area.
The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure has closed Route 10 west of the bridge in Chipman due to water over the road.
Bronson Settlement road was brought to a better standard so that larger vehicles (half-ton trucks, emergency vehicles) can access the community. pic.twitter.com/YGX5hijvvx
— Government of NB (@Gov_NB) May 5, 2018
Gillett says it’s too early to say how many homes have been damaged or even destroyed.
“This is very, very traumatic,” he says. “Some people have waged the war and won and some people have waged the war and lost.”
Despite the trauma, Gillett says citizens have come together to help fill sandbags and even direct traffic in areas where there’s water over the road.
“I took meals over to them [Saturday] and one of the flaggers looked at me and said, ‘no, we don’t need this because every second car through feeds us,’” says Gillett.
He says it could be later in the week before the roads may start to reopen again.
(Photos taken by Marie Wainwright)