Residents get voluntary evacuation notice as waters rise in Saint John, N.B.

Residents in parts of Saint John, N.B., have been given voluntary evacuation notice as water continues to rise along southern portions of the Saint John River.

Officials said the worst appeared over Monday in Fredericton, where a number of bridge ramps and streets remain closed, but they warned residents further south to remain alert.

The Saint John Emergency Measures Organization issued a voluntary evacuation notice late Monday for people living in some areas along the Saint John River.

It said water levels could reach 5.3 metres by Friday, and flooding and road closures could isolate some homes for five days or more.

About 200 soldiers from Canadian Forces Base Gagetown had been dispatched to help residents cope, while sandbag stations had been set up across the province.

The flooding has prompted the newly acclaimed leader of the New Brunswick Liberals, former House of Commons sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers, to cancel plans for his first official news conference on Wednesday.