FREDERICTON (GNB) – Residents living or working along the Saint John River should be vigilant over the coming days due to rising river levels.

Environment and Climate Change Canada is forecasting double-digit temperatures and light precipitation in the province’s north over the next five days. One community, Saint-Hilaire, is forecast to surpass flood stage on Saturday.

River Watch officials are watching closely for ice movement in the upper Saint John River basin, which would increase the risk of ice jams. Ice jams have the potential to cause a rapid increase of water levels in affected areas.

Residents can report ice jams and localized flooding at any time by calling 1-800-561-4034. They can also monitor the latest lower Saint John River five-day forecast and the latest upper Saint John River five-day forecast.

New Brunswickers are reminded to:

  • keep watercraft off rivers and 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;
  • be prepared for possible flooding and have a plan to evacuate and 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;
  • report ice jams 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, or by following the Emergency Measures Organization on Twitter and Facebook.

The River Watch program is in effect to provide New Brunswickers with information on the status of rivers, potential ice jams, and other flood issues across the province over the coming weeks.

The program is a joint effort between the Department of Environment and Local Government and the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization of the Department of Justice and Public Safety. Other partners include NB Power, watershed groups, and federal, provincial and state agencies involved in monitoring and forecasting the water flow in the province's rivers and streams.

Updates on information related to the potential for flooding or ice jams, including 24/7 emergency updates, is available online.