Government of New Brunswick
Burnt Church First Nation
Miramichi Bay
Heavy rain
High tides

Affected Areas

General: A storm surge from an intense winter storm caused flooding of low lying coastal areas along the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The surge was caused by the combined effect of the storm's high winds and low atmospheric pressure, and coincided with a full moon to produce much higher tides than normal. Flooding was reported from Shediac to Bathurst in New Brunswick, and some areas in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland were also affected. About twenty families were evacuated in western Prince Edward Island around the Tignish area, as waves washed up to 300 metres inland. Shediac area: Severe flooding occurred in the Shediac Bay area. The Foch Bridge and several homes and businesses were flooded at the west end of Shediac. Floodwaters inundated a major section of Main Street for a few hours. At one point, an RCMP officer saw a picnic table float across a flooded section of the street. Parts of Pointe du Chene were cut off by the flooding, forcing the evacuation of fifteen families using boats and excavators. At one cottage, floodwaters were 0.1 metre above the floor when rescuers arrived. The 9-1-1 service received emergency calls regarding the flooding from 15:30 hours until the end of the night. In nearby Barachois, a couple left their shorefront home after the deck was destroyed by the flood, fearing the house might collapse as well. The home owner described the surge of water and ice as being "like slow moving lava". Miramichi Bay Area: In Miramichi City east, some flooding occurred along Water Street, Loggie Drive, and the Shore Road near Middle Island. The parking lots of The Rodd Miramichi River Lodge were inundated, and the basement of Scott's Pharmasave was slightly flooded. The basement of the Gallant home on Water Street was flooded by more than 0.6 metres of water, which city fire crews helped pump out. In Miramichi City west, water flooded across Waterfront Drive, Ledden and Mitchell streets, inundating the parking lot behind Keystone Kelly¿s and the Goodie Shop. Several downtown businesses sustained minor basement flooding. The worst of the flooding occurred from 20:00 to 21:00 hours on January 21. The high water levels also caused some sewer lines to back up. Strawberry Marsh was completely inundated. A longtime resident near the marsh observed that "the high tide rose very quickly, remained at its peak for longer than normal, then receded exceptionally fast as well". At Neguac, on the north shore of Miramichi Bay, floodwaters over 0.9 metres deep covered the wharf and threatened two lobster fishing boats. The boats were sitting on blocks on dry land for the winter, but might have floated away if floodwaters had risen 0.3 metres further. Floodwaters reached the driveway of the Mazerolle home which is located at least 250 metres from the wharf. The wharf at Burnt Church was also covered by about 0.9 metres of water during the height of the storm. Magnitude
Storm surge
During the storm, the barometric pressure dropped to a near-record low of 95 kilopascals. By comparison, the lowest barometric pressures from typical maritime winter storms are about 97 kilopascals. Surveys of high water marks revealed peak water levels exceeded the normal high tide levels by about 1.5 metres. Wind speeds reached as high as 100 kilometres per hour, and up to 70 cm of snow fell in some areas. The parking lot for Parlee Beach was flooded by over one metre of water for close to half a kilometre. At Neguac, the wharf was flooded by water 0.9 metres deep.
Many homes and cottages were flooded in the Shediac area. Dozens of homes in the Pointe du Chene area were damaged by flooding and ice, particularly at Parlee Beach. Some foundations were damaged as water turned to ice following the storm. The salt water was very damaging to vehicles caught in the flooding. The owner of a home on Water Street, in Miramichi City east, estimated total damages of over $15 000 after the basement was flooded by over 0.6 metres of water. Other home owners had depended on sump pumps to minimize basement flooding, and were grateful the power did not fail during the storm. Some wharves were flooded during the storm, but early inspections could not determine the extent of damages due to the thick layers of ice which were left coating the structures. Many summer cottages were not inhabited at the time of the storm. In some areas, the shore ice may have prevented damages from being much higher by minimizing the wave action caused by the high winds. Fishermen in Neguac suggested that "catastrophic" damages could have resulted if such a storm had occurred in the spring when many lobster boats would have been moored at the wharf. The provincial government paid almost $1.7 million in insurance claims.