Water levels continue to recede in flood-stricken N.B., clearing way for cleanup

Water levels appear to continue to recede in the Saint John River, possibly opening the door to what will likely be a long and costly cleanup after record-breaking flooding.

According to the federal Environment Department, levels in Fredericton were about 6.85 metres above sea level early today.

That's down from 7.03 metres last night, while levels dropped to about 5.1 overnight in Saint John.

Officials say residents still need to be careful in handling the water since it's suspected it has been fouled by different contaminants.

Emergency officials were also pleading with residents to be patient, as some roads that were submerged may not be safe to drive on until they are inspected.

The Canadian Red Cross says it will begin distributing flood cleanup kits, which include a mop, broom, scrub brush, sponges, latex gloves, masks and garbage bags.