May 3, 2018 12:02 pm
Updated: May 4, 2018 8:45 am

Flooding forces highway closure between Moncton and Fredericton

Crews began shutting down the Trans-Canada Highway between Moncton and Fredericton as flooding continues to impact the area, with some residents having to check their homes using motorboats and other methods.

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The Trans Canada Highway between Moncton and Fredericton was closed Thursday evening — and possibly will remain closed for several days — as floodwaters continue to rise in New Brunswick.

The province announced the closure on Thursday afternoon. The closure affects both west-bound and east-bound lanes and began at around 7 p.m.

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READ MORE: N.B. flooding hits record levels — with more rain in the forecast

Traffic is being re-routed at Route 1 through River Glade and Route 7 at Oromocto.

Motorists who needed to travel between the two cities were being urged to do so before the closure.

“Residents in southern reaches of the St. John River are encouraged to evaluate their resiliency and plan for the worst. Consider voluntarily evacuating while the roads are still safe to travel,” the province said in a tweet.

“Individuals should take action now to secure their homes and properties, and make arrangements to safely leave impacted areas, should conditions worsen.”

WATCH: Chief meteorologist Anthony Farnell has a New Brunswick flood update from the SkyTracker Weather Centre

The Emergency Measures Organization said Thursday that Saint John has hit 5.4 metres above sea level — water levels not seen since 1973 — and will likely exceed that on Saturday when forecasts say it could reach 5.8 metres.

The city of Saint John is advising residents in flooded areas to evacuate Thursday. It’s warning residents in affected areas they may lose power, water and sewer services soon, and potentially be unreachable by first responders in the case of an emergency.

WATCH: Historic flooding prompts calls for evacuations in New Brunswick

Free one-way evacuation shuttle

NB Southern Railroad provided a free one-way evacuation shuttle via rail to residents along the Westfield Road (and area) from the intersection of Gault Road and Mellinger Crescent.

The shuttle departed east towards the city centre at 4 p.m. on Thursday to the Red Cross reception centre at the Carleton Community Centre. Residents were allowed to bring up to two bags and were asked to prepare to be away from their homes for at least seven days.

The pick-up points were:

• Ketepec Road crossing
• Acamac Backland Road crossing
• Grenville Lane
• Galbraith Property crossing (1109 Westfield Road)

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