Government of New Brunswick
Iron Bound Cove
Nepisiguit Falls
River De Chute
Lower St Marys
Saint John
Lee Settlement
Durham Bridge
Red Bank, Northumb
Blue Bell
Sussex Corner
St. George
Upper Mills
Grand Falls
Bloomfield, Kings County
Bonny River
Tide Head
Middle Sackville
Upper Dorchester
Second Falls
St. Stephen
Ice jam
Heavy rain
High tides
Mild Weather

Affected Areas

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This flood was significant in all parts of the Province. Upper and Middle Saint John River Basin: In the Saint John River Basin, small dams were lost on the Oromocto, Meduxnekeag, Allagash and Kennebecasis rivers. Bridges, mills and logs were lost all along the Saint John River and its tributaries. C.N.R. washouts were reported at Riverside, Rothesay, Lakeside and on the Valley Line between Hampstead and Evandale. Washouts occurred along the C.P.R. line at six points between Welsford and McAdam and within the City of Fredericton. The railway tracks at Lower St. Mary's were reported to be under one to three feet [0.3 m to 0.9 m] of water. A C.N.R. washout occurred at Marysville. On the Gibson Branch, two serious washouts occurred at Cardigan and Zealand Station. A railway bridge was partially destroyed at Florenceville. A washout at Blue Bell, Victoria County, and on the Quisibis River, Madawaska County, had tied up both the C.N.R. and the C.P.R. A washout occurred on the Temiscouata Line at St. Hilaire, and a railway bridge was destroyed on the Connors Brook Branch. Twenty miles [32.2 km] above Edmundston, the Caron Brook and Pelletier's Brook bridges were washed out. The Iroquois steel bridge was seriously damaged and the centre pier of the Green River bridge was swept away. Perth, Andover and several towns in Maine were reported to be without electricity. A bridge at River de Chute and two over the Muniac River, Victoria County, were damaged. Bridges at Shikatehawk near Bristol and Florenceville were destroyed. A bridge, grist mill and planing mill at Boundary Line were swept down the Presque Isle River to Centreville. At Hartland, one house was completely turned over and other buildings were carried away. The town was without water or lights for about six days. Bridges were lost in the Meduxnekeag River basin: one on the North Branch, one on the South Branch and a third at Woodstock. At Woodstock, a portion of the power dam went out and all buildings along the river bank were more or less damaged. The Electric Light and Power plant floated away and was found on Sugar Island above Fredericton. The Imperial Packing Company's plant was found on the shore at Douglas. Bull's Island was under water. The race track was submerged and the exhibition buildings were in danger of being carried away. At Grafton, opposite Woodstock on the Saint John River, the main road was inundated and several buildings were partially submerged. Lower Saint John River Basin: Families were forced to abandon their homes in the Keswick Flats area and at Upper Keswick. Further downstream at Nashwaaksis many basements were flooded. Residents left their homes and the bridge was submerged. Further downstream, at the Nashwaak River Valley, covered bridges at Durham, Penniac and at the mouth of the Nashwaak River were carried away. A dam at Stanley broke releasing a large quantity of logs which jammed against the steel highway bridge at Marysville, shifting the bridge about six feet [1.8 m] A mill had been carried away, and along a two mile [3.2 km] stretch of river, only two out of 100 houses were not completely surrounded by water. Agricultural losses occured on many farms and included erosion, loss of livestock, and damage or destruction of barns and outbuildings. Telephone lines along the Nashwaak River were damaged. The highways around Fredericton were inundated and a culvert was washed out at Corbett's Creek. At the peak of the flood, canoes were being used on Lansdowne, Alexandra, Grey and Winslow streets. The intersection of Carleton and Brunswick Streets was flooded. Scores of basements were flooded. The street lights were off for a period due to the flooding of the Maritime Electric plant on Shore Street. Families were forced to abandon their homes in the Maugerville-Sheffield area, which sustained damage to buildings and losses of livestock. Most livestock, however, was moved to higher ground across the river. Market gardeners in the area sustained a total crop loss because vegetable plants, placed in green houses for transplanting, were destroyed. Photogragh 14: Collapse of Highway Bridge Due to Log Jam, Becaguimec at Hartland - 1923, photo credit: N.B. Provincial Archives At Lower Jemseg, a lighthouse was overturned. The waterfront barns and sheds were reported to be flooded at Gagetown. Several cellars were also flooded at Gagetown. The Salmon River, at Chipman, overflowed at numerous places. The approach to the highway bridge was inundated. Several properties in the vicinity of the bridge were flooded above the first floor. High water was in evidence at Iron Bound Cove, Luther Brook at the peak was within a few inches of the bridge span. Kennebecasis River Basin: Some damage to cottages, boats and recreational developments was reported along the lower sections of the Kennebecasis River. At Nauwigewauk, several people living in the Island Road cottages were forced to evacuate their homes when water entered the ground floors. The C.N.R. line was undermined and washed out at Lakeside and was also affected at Riverside. At Hampton, the bridge over the river was completely submerged and partly washed out. Several houses near the river were completely surrounded by water and at least one house on Langstroth Terrace had to be reached by boat. Boats were also used to get from the village to the station, and it was reported that this was the first time this method had to be followed since 1887. At Bloomfield, all the interval land was inundated. Some barns were affected and a 200 to 300 feet [approx. 60 to 90 m] stretch of highway between the bridges was submerged. At Norton, several buildings were threatened but the water receded before entering any structures. The water was said "to have reached a level six inches below the floor of B. Perley Wood's drug store". Meadows in the vicinity of Apohaqui were inundated. In Sussex, the approach to the eastern end of the bridge on Maple Avenue was damaged considerably. Many basements throughout the town were inundated. The roads in the vicinity of Sussex Corner were badly washed out and a driving dam at the head of Trout Creek went out. A 60 foot [approx. 18 m] section of the Rockville dam, five miles [8 km] from Sussex, was carried out along with six hundred thousand board feet [1 416 m3]of logs, and the Rockville bridge was damaged. In Waterford Parish, the roads were badly washed out and the Carr Bridge was taken out and several others were damaged. In the Parish of Hammond, a portion of the dam at Dick's Lake was taken out. Old Saint John Area: At Indiantown, several warehouses, sheds and cellars were flooded on the lower part of Bridge Street. Flooding also occurred on a portion of Main Street. The ferry house was destroyed. Northern Basins: In the Restigouche River Basin, two washouts occurred on the Intercolonial Railway between Campbellton and St. Leonard. The high water inundated a considerable distance of track near Grog Brook. An ice jam occurred at the Tide Head islands and two small houses on McBeath Island were carried away. Nepisiguit River Basin: In the Nepisiguit River Basin, an ice jam occurred at the Narrows. The jam broke naturally under the pressure of water and ice. At the mines, several buildings near the river were flooded and some were moved from their foundations. Miramichi River Basin: The Miramichi River was described as being very high, full of logs, lumber and ice endangering bridges. A number of dams on the upper Miramichi and its tributaries were carried away. Bridges were destroyed or damaged, railway lines inundated or washed out, halting rail traffic between Newcastle and Fredericton. Several million feet in (cubic feet/board or kg?) logs were adrift from broken booms. At Boiestown, long stretches of highways were inundated. The interval and railway line was under water at McNamee. The water was very high at Doaktown, where about two million board feet [5 420 m3] of logs were lost by James H. Holmes Limited. Two small bridges were damaged in this area and portions of highways were inundated. The bridges were at Hurley Brook and at Blissfield. At Blackville, the highway bridge was flooded. One house near the bridge was carried off its foundation and the mill received damage. The houses, in the lower portion of the village, were evacuated. On the Little Southwest Miramichi, a rotary mill was carried away and the Red Bank Bridge had been damaged by an ice jam. The bridge was closed to vehicular traffic. The Bartibog boom was reported to have broken. In Newcastle, downtown streets were inundated, and it was stated that the water was deep enough on Castle Street to use rowboats. At Nappan, Northumberland County, the Johnson School House bridge was damaged (south of Chatham). Southern New Brunswick: In Westmorland County, flooding of the C.N.R. mainline occurred at College Bridge and at Upper Dorchester, halting rail traffic between Moncton and Halifax. The railway bed was badly damaged at College Bridge. Railway traffic was delayed for over a day while repairs were completed. Tantramar River Basin: The marshes between Sackville and Middle Sackville were inundated. In Sackville, low lying land at the foot of Weldon Street was flooded. On Marsh Creek (Saint John), the boom used to protect the highway bridge broke, allowing a large quantity of debris to be carried down onto the bridge. Telephone lines were damaged in the vicinity of Saint John. Southwestern New Brunswick: In the Musquash River Basin, a portion of the earth wing dam on the West Branch was washed out. The flood of water carried with it three dwellings, a number of outbuildings and livestock. Clinche's Bridge at Musquash was taken out and the railway tracks crossing the Musquash Marsh were damaged. Damage resulted in all low lying areas. The operation of the New Brunswick Electric Power Company's plant was disrupted affecting telephone service in the area. In Charlotte County, culvert problems were experienced at Pocologan, in Pennfield Parish. Five small bridges were destroyed in the Parish of Dunbarton and one in the St. James Parish. In the Digdeguash River Basin, a bridge at Rolling Dam was carried away. Magaguadavic River Basin: In the Magaguadavic River Basin, the loss of lumber and pulpwood was tremendous. Telephones in the area were out of service. At Upper Trout Brook, the bridge was lifted clear of the abutments, but was secured by ropes. Several homes were flooded and the animals were driven to higher ground. The bridge at Lower Trout Brook was also flooded. At Flume Ridge, the roads were inundated. A portion of the dam at MacDougall Lake was washed out. A covered highway bridge at Lee Settlement was carried away. The highway bridge at Second Falls was destroyed. Families in the community were forced to move from their homes. At Bonny River, families were also forced to move from their homes. A bridge at Bonny Brook was destroyed. The highway between Bonny River and St. George was inundated. Several cottages at Lake Utopia were flooded. At St. George, heavy damage was sustained to the upper highway bridge. Booms at St. George broke and lumber was carried out to sea. The damage here was extensive and about 25 families were forced to leave their homes. St. Croix River Basin: In the St. Croix River Basin, bridges were washed out, homes flooded and factories closed. The International Bridge between Upper Mills, N.B., and Baring, Maine, was damaged when one end of the bridge was carried away. At Union Mills, two lumber mills on the Maine shore were destroyed. The American half of the Union Mills Bridge was swept away. At Milltown, Maine, the United States Customs Building was carried off its foundation. The American end of the International Bridge here went out under the pressure of water and logs. At Milltown, N.B., the McAllister Bros. grist mill was flooded and in danger of destruction. Approximately 12 houses on South and Water streets were partly submerged and the occupants were forced to vacate these homes. The Canadian Cotton Mill sustained extensive damage. One pier of the St. Stephen-Calais bridge was damaged. Railway services in the area were curtailed.
Snowmelt combined with heavy rain and warm temperatures from April 28 to April 30. Some ice jams as well as log jams were reported. High tides exacerbated the flooding in coastal areas of southeastern New Brunswick.
Saint John River Basin: A rainfall of 3.39 inches [86.1 mm] was recorded at Fredericton. The flood rose rapidly on the tributaries and the Upper Saint John River to peak on or about April 30. At Van Buren, above Grand Falls, the flow was 134 000 cfs [3 794 m3/s ] or 16.2 cfs per square mile [0.18 m3/s /km2]. The river was reported as being the highest in 50 years at Grand Falls. At Hartland, the level was reported to be seven inches [178 mm] higher than in 1887. A record peak daily discharge of 288 000 cfs [8 155 m3/s] or about 19 cfs per square mile was recorded at Pokiok. At Fredericton, the peak fell 13 inches [0.33 m] short of that reached in 1887, but was 26.25 feet [8.001 m] above winter low level. At the mouth of the Nashwaak River, the water level rose eleven feet [3.4 m] from the morning of April 29 to the afternoon of April 30, and was falling by May 1. On the Nashwaak River, the flow past a small dam upstream of Marysville was estimated to be 40 000 cfs [1 130 m3/s]. At Indiantown, the level started rising on April 30 and peaked around May 5 or May 6. There was controversy as to whether or not the maximum stage at Indiantown fell short of or exceeded that of 1887, but was probably about the same. The Kennebecasis River was said to be higher than it was in the memorable floods of 1887 and this was the second flood this spring. "At Hampton, boats had to be used to get from the village to the station, the first time this method had to be followed since 1887." Miramichi River Basin: The Miramichi River was said to have reached a level seven feet [2.1 m] higher than ever before. The conditions at Millerton were said "to be the worst known for years". Water was reported to be about two feet [0.6 m] deep over the Blackville Bridge, and up to 10 feet [3.0 m]deep on some of the streets. Nepisiguit River Basin: The Nepisiguit River was reported to have risen 12 feet [3.7 m] in 12 minutes due to the breaking of an ice jam. Southeastern New Brunswick: It was reported that the railway line between College Bridge and Dorchester was submerged to a depth of four feet [1.2 m], and that "Sackville had a 28 feet [8.5 m] tide". Magaguadavic River Basin: At Brockway, on the Magaguadavic River, the freshet was said to be the highest ever known. The Magaguadavic River level was reported to be eight feet [2.4 m] higher than any recorded during the past 91 years. Subsequent analysis of information has estimated the peak flood flow was 1 700 cubic metres per second at the highway bridge at St. George. St. Croix River Basin: Unusually high tides were reported in the tidal reach of the St. Croix River. The river water level was reported to be the highest on record at Milltown. The water was reported to reach a height of three to four feet [0.9 m to 1.2 m] above all previous records.
The total damages in New Brunswick were estimated by the Premier of the Province, at the time of the flood, to be between five and ten million dollars. The damage in Madawaska County was estimated at $75 000. At the time of the flood, the provincial Public Works Department estimated $450 000 damage to roads and bridges within the Province. The public accounts for 1923 and 1924 show expenditures on bridges, as a result of the 1923 freshet, totalling about $380 000 ($252 000 ordinary bridge expenditures and about $128 000 permanent bridge expenditures). About one-half of these expenditures were incurred in the Saint John River Basin. The Provincial Bridge Department records indicate 57 bridges were damaged or destroyed in the Province. The railways sustained heavy damages during this flood. Most lines in the Province were impassible for periods varying from two days to a week. The lumber companies also sustained heavy losses due to logs escaping from booms and mills being flooded. A $25 000 loss of logs was reported on the Kennebecasis River and reports of broken booms came from all parts of the Province. Millions of feet of logs were being carried down the Restigouche, Miramichi and other rivers. Telephone and electrical services were disrupted in sections of the Province. St. Croix River Basin: In the St. Croix River Basin, the estimate of damage was in excess of $1 000 000. The losses at the cotton mill, at Milltown, were estimated to be between $150 000 and $200 000. About 700 employees were out of work for approximately three weeks. A crew of 200 men were employed in making repairs. Magaguadavic River Basin: Property damage in the Magaguadavic River Basin was estimated to be $200 000. The principal losses were incurred by the Bonny River Lumber Company and St. George Pulp and Paper. Two lives were lost during the flood. One man was drowned in the Magaguadavic River when his boat overturned in the flood swollen river. Another man was drowned while trying to save his livestock at Musquash. He was caught in the rush of water on the West Branch of the Musquash River.