There’s another concern for residents affected by flooding in the province, contaminated water.
Director of the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization Greg McCallum says, “I can tell you first hand, from seeing the water courses and where water has crept up into inhabited areas and on roads, that there is virtually everything in the water.”
He says sewage systems have been compromised and sewage has backed up into homes and businesses.
“The flood water itself will be contaminated with sewage and with refuse from farmlands. You name it, it is in there,” McCallum adds.
The threat of sickness and infection is one of the main concerns.
“If residents find sewage backed up in their homes, if they are still in their homes, they need to protect themselves. Rubber boots and waterproof gloves. That will become even more difficult as people begin to return to their homes.”
Water levels are beginning to recede in some areas, and that has residents asking what they can return home.
McCallum says, “A very deliberate process has to be followed to make sure it is safe for them to return home. In some cases, it may be a matter of days after the water levels are below flood stage. In other cases, it could be weeks before people will have a clear indications before people know exactly what they can do.”