Government of New Brunswick
Plaster Rock
Lower St Marys
Saint John
Bartletts Mills
Oak Point, Kings Co.
Durham Bridge
Jewetts Mills
Long Creek
Eel River Cove
St. Andrews
St. George
Long Reach
Grand Falls
Darlings Island
Bonny River
Moores Mills
Woodmans Point
Tide Head
Eel River Crossing
Second Falls
St. Stephen
Ice jam
Heavy rain
Mild Weather

Affected Areas

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Upper and Middle Saint John River Basin: One of the most significant ice jams occurred at the C.N.R. Bridge in Fredericton, giving record breaking flood levels in that city. At the peak, three-quarters of the business district of Fredericton was flooded with about a foot [0.3 m] of water lying on Queen Street from St. John Street to the lower end of Waterloo Row. The bridge was destroyed by the jam. Following the breakup of the jam at Fredericton, another jam formed at Sheffield and extended upriver to Burton. This jam caused inundation of about 150 square miles [approx. 390 km2] in the Maugerville area. Other ice jams occurred on the Saint John River at Long Reach, at Keswick Island, at Longs Creek and McKinley Ferry, on the Oromocto River near Blissville, on the Nashwaak River just below Durham, on the Nackawic Stream at Cullerton, on the Meduxenekeag River at Dutchies Interval, on the Tobique River at Ogilvies above Plaster Rock and on the Allagash, Green and Presque Isle rivers. A large ice and log jam also formed on the Upper Saint John River at Quisibis. When this jam was blasted out, logs were observed to pass from Grand Falls to Fredericton in 24 hours. Edmundston was isolated, from the south for a period of time, due to the ice jam at Quisibis. At Quisibis, water was over the railway lines; highway and telephone lines were taken out. The farmers in the area were forced to leave their homes. Floodwaters were reported to have inundated the railway tracks to a depth of fifteen feet. Families along the Tobique River were forced to move to higher ground. The new bridge at Plaster Rock was damaged. A warehouse and the C.P.R. station were also flooded causing some damage. A bridge over the Little Salmon River in Victoria County was damaged. A bridge was also damaged at Rockland on Little River near Grand Falls. The Ellis Bridge at Carlisle on the North Branch of the Becaguimec River was damaged. The C.P.R. rail line was washed out between Hartland and Stickney. Two dams went out on the Meduxnekeag River. At Woodstock, houses on the interval had cellars flooded and in some cases the water was over the lower floor. At Grafton, the main road was inundated and the small bridge over Wright's Brook was submerged. On the Nackawic Stream, running ice damaged the C.P.R. bridge at Cullerton as well as a highway bridge in the area. C.N.R. bridges were washed out or damaged on the Fredericton-Centreville line at Eel River and Longs Creek. The highway bridge at Jewetts Mills on the Mactaquac River was destroyed or damaged as well as the bridge at the Mouth of Keswick. The C.N.R. tracks were flooded at McKinley Ferry and the Woodstock-Fredericton highway was inundated at Garden Creek. A number of barns on the islands above Fredericton were carried away. The Nashwaaksis covered bridge was heavily damaged and the main road near the old wagon factory was under several feet of water. In North Devon, Friel's Creek overflowed its banks and inundated a portion of the highway. A rail line washout occurred along the Nashwaak River near Durham, where one and a half miles [approx. 2.4 km] of track were destroyed, and another occurred above Taymouth. The highway was covered with floodwaters in sections at Durham. The piers of Munroe Bridge over the Nashwaak River and the power lines across the Marysville Flats were damaged. In Fredericton, the waterfront area sustained extensive damage. Cellars along Queen Street were flooded to various depths and Brunswick Street in the vicinity of Carleton Street was under water. A six block area or so was partially or almost totally inundated from Northumberland Street to York Street and from Victoria Street to Aberdeen Street. The area from York to Westmorland and back to Argyle Street and the southern portion of Victoria Street received the brunt of the floodwaters. On Alexandra, Grey, Lansdowne and Winslow streets, the water was high enough to be on the lower stories of many houses and occupants were forced to the upper floors. The water was well over the lower floors of some houses at Victoria Mills. At Lower St. Mary's, a number of people left their homes and took their livstock with them. Those who remained were forced to occupy the upper floors of their homes. The Minto Sub-Division of the C.P.R. was under water for a distance of between five and six miles [8.0 km and 9.7 km]. A C.N.R. washout occurred at Lincoln, and a C.N.R. bridge was washed out or destroyed near Gagetown. Highway bridges were washed out or destroyed at Bailey, Blissville and Hoyt in the Oromocto River Basin. At Hoyt, the railway station and several houses were isolated and some livestock was lost. A small highway washout occurred at Geary. At Oromocto, ice damaged power and telephone lines disrupting service to Maugerville and Gagetown. Washouts occurred on the C.P.R. main line at Wirral and west of Welsford. At Gagetown, the buildings on Main Street were partially submerged and numerous basements were flooded. Barns filled with hay and machinery were swept away at Hampstead and in Wickham, Queens County. At Belyea's Point, the lighthouse was torn from its base and carried downstream by drift ice. Cottages were reported as being deep in water at Crystal Beach, Woodman's Point and at Westfield. Other less severe damages were reported to have occurred at Oak Point and Holderville. Along the Kennebecasis River, flooded areas were reported at Norton, Hampton and Rothesay. At Norton, the flooding was said "to be extensive forcing people to evacuate their homes". Darling's Island was cut off from the mainland with three feet [0.9 m] of water over the road to the bridge. Ice was also reported to be over the road at Wilcox Brook. At Hampton, the water was reported to be up on the Cemetery Road. At Rothesay, families abandoned their homes and the park was cut off when the lower end of the road became submerged. Restigouche River Basin: In the Restigouche River Basin, the flood conditions were bad as water and ice battered its way downstream. Ice jams occurred at several locations throughout the basin. The Patapedia and Upsalquitch rivers ran to combine into one of the worst floods ever witnessed in the area. The ice ran in the Kedgwick River and piled up at Tracy Brook. An ice jam occurred at Routhierville, Quebec (Matapedia River) causing a washout on the main line of the C.N.R. and halting rail traffic for several hours. When this jam broke, the ice was said to have passed St. Alexis in a very short time. Another ice jam occurred at the Matapedia Bridge. An ice jam occurred in the main branch of the Restigouche River west of Campbellton on the islands and extended from the lower end of Tide Head to above Morrissey Rock near Flatlands. The ice runs battered the shores, uprooted fences, damaged cottages and boathouses and covered the area. At Flatlands, the government fish hatchery was inundated. Along the I.N.R., Grog Brook covered several bridges and halted train service. The community of Matapedia, Quebec sustained heavy flood damage. The lower parts of the town were inundated. The Restigouche Hotel was damaged considerably by the water and ice. At Sillarsville, outbuildings, livestock and dwellings were "prey of the freshet". From Flatlands, reports of cattle being lost were received and similar reports from Broadlands were unfounded. Damages were reported at Tide Head, where Christopher Brook raced to join the freshet. Campbellton was reported as not being as hard hit as other areas in the county. Town employees were busy trying to keep the drainage systems clear. Several basements were flooded. Walker Brook overflowed its banks at several points, covering the highway to a depth of a foot [0.3 m] or more. In the Eel River and Charlo districts, low roads were completely flooded and several small bridges were threatened by the high water. Jardine Brook in the western section of the County and the Jacquet River, in the eastern portion overflowed inundating the surrounding country with "a great expanse of water and ice". Miramichi River Basin: In the Miramichi River Basin, several ice jams occurred. On the Little Southwest Miramichi River, a tributary of the Northwest Miramichi River, two large farms at Upper Halcomb were completely inundated . An ice jam occurred at Cassilis on the Northwest Miramichi, while the Southwest Miramichi River was reported as breaking up and jamming at several places. At Boiestown, the heavy ice run damaged the Norrad Bridge. In the Renous-Quarryville section, the highway was inundated in one place. A huge ice jam occurred at Elm Tree Brook about four miles [6.4 km] upstream of Bryenton. The ice was reported to have piled up at Nelson and also at the bridge between Newcastle and Chatham Head. Dynamite was used to break the ice jam at the bridge. Some sections of streets in Newcastle were flooded for several days. Southeastern New Brunswick: In Albert County, the Five Points Bridge at Little River near Salisbury was damaged. Southwestern New Brunswick: In Charlotte County, a least seven bridges were swept away by ice and high water and several others were weakened. Bridges that were swept away were: the covered bridge over the Digdeguash River at Rolling Dam, two above Rolling Dam and the Red Bridge at Elmsville, as well as a railway bridge in this vicinity. The Strange Bridge over the Waweig River at the head of the tidewater and a bridge on Bartlett's Mill Road were destroyed. A structure was also carried away at Chamcook (McCann's Corner). Trains were delayed in the area due to flooding in the vicinity of Moore's Mills and Honeydale. On the St. Andrews Branch, a washout occurred near Watt Junction. Magaguadavic River Basin: In the Magaguadavic River Basin, the river was described as "being on the rampage at Bonny River and Second Falls". At least ten families were forced to evacuate their homes in these communities. Cellars were flooded, destroying provisions and other effects, and the drifting ice damaged some houses. An ice jam occurred at Second Falls just downstream of the bridge. The road was impassable between Bonny River and St. George. Extensive damage occurred to the telephone lines in the district. An ice jam also occurred at St. George near the pulp mill. A quantity of sawlogs was lost. St. Croix River Basin: In the St. Croix River Basin, the flooding did not seem to be as severe as in the eastern portions of Charlotte County. At Milltown, precautions were taken at the cotton mill. Bulkheads were installed to prevent water from entering the weave shed, shops and basements. Damage to the cotton mill was slight. The sidewalk of the International Bridge collapsed and the railway trestle above the mill was severely damaged by the ice. McDougall Brook flowed over Pleasant Street and the Bog Bridge was flooded. At Union Mills, Union Brook overflowed across Main Street. At St. Stephen, King Street was inundated near the government garage and some cellars were flooded.
High temperatures with some rainfall for two days caused the unusually early spring breakup. Ice jams resulted in most parts of the Province (Figure 21).
Saint John River Basin: In the Saint John River Valley, significant damage was caused by the ice jams and floating blocks of ice, which were reported to be 16 to 18 inches [0.41 m to 0.46 m] thick and 50 feet2 [approx. 15 m] long. At St. Leonard, the water level was reported to have risen to within four feet [1.2 m] of the underside of the International highway bridge. The peak flow at Pokiok was 231 000 cfs [6 541 m3/s]. Stages at Indiantown and Woodstock were reported to have reached those of 1934. At Fredericton, the ice jam resulted in a level of 29.2 feet [8.9 m], nearly 25 feet [about 7.6 m] above summer level. The South Branch of the Oromocto River, in the Blissville-Hoyt area, was the highest in the memories of the oldest residents. The water level at Oromocto was the highest in 37 years. Restigouche River Basin: Flood conditions on the North Shore were reported to be very bad. The freshet on the Restigouche River was said "to resemble the freshet of the spring 1934". Miramichi River Basin: In Newcastle, the water was reported to be about two feet deep at the intersection of Henry and Castle streets. Southwestern New Brunswick: At Elmsville, Charlotte County, this was reported as "the worst freshet since 1923". At Milltown, the highwater did not reach the height of 1923; 1923 recorded level was 130.5 feet [39.78 m], and in 1936, the recorded was 124.5 feet [37.95 m].
The C.N.R. and C.P.R. rail service was paralysed in the central portion of the Province. Reports state that 28 provincial bridges were destroyed/damaged (Figure 15). The heaviest losses were experienced in Sunbury, Carleton, Charlotte and Albert counties. Other counties in which bridges were lost or damaged were York, Kings, Queens and Victoria counties. Heavy damage to private property and losses to livestock occurred at Hoyt and Maugerville. The C.N.R. bridge at Fredericton was valued at 1.5 million dollars. A New Brunswick Department of Public Works report stated that "the flood caused expenditures of over $100 000 on bridges and $50 000 on ordinary roads as well as greatly increased expenditures on Legislative Buildings and offices and the Normal School". Newspapers carried reports of two million dollar losses in the downtown Fredericton area alone. Damages were stated to be high in the Digdeguash and Magaguadavic river basins as well as in the Restigouche area.