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Slow melt eases pressure on St. John River after last year’s record N.B. floods

The Nashwaak River in New Brunswick at flood stage on April 2, 2019.
The Nashwaak River in New Brunswick at flood stage on April 2, 2019. Morganne Campbell/Global News

Emergency Measures officials say they’re pleased by the gradual rate of river ice melting in the St. John River, one year after last year’s record-breaking floods wreaked damage on New Brunswick.

Geoffrey Downey, spokesperson for the province’s Public Safety Department, says that while rains are coming this week, the river melting has been steady and slow, a pattern radically unlike the 2018 rush of water.

READ MORE: N.B. EMO warning of flooding ahead of spring freshet

There were initially some concerns as the past winter brought a heavy accumulation of snow in the province’s north.

However, Downey says the gradual shift of temperatures, with above freezing levels in the day and cool nights, differs from last year’s quick flip from cold to very warm temperatures.

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Last year, about 12,000 properties were affected by widespread flooding between late April and mid-May.

WATCH: EMO warns of flooding ahead of spring freshet (April 12, 2019)

Click to play video 'EMO warns of flooding ahead of spring freshet' EMO warns of flooding ahead of spring freshet
EMO warns of flooding ahead of spring freshet – Apr 12, 2019

Downey says all communities along the river are forecast to remain above the river waters for the next three days.

He cautions that if temperatures were to radically change next week, the risks of flooding could quickly rise.