CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS
The occurrence of floods is influenced by natural factors (weather, terrain, vegetation, soils) and human activities. Inland flooding includes open-water floods from regional moderate-intensity rainfall and snowmelt, local floods from inadequate storm-water drainage or high water tables, flash floods from rapid watershed response to high-intensity precipitation events, flooding because of full or partial flow obstruction (e.g., ice jams), and surges owing to failure of upstream flow obstructions. Floods can result in physical devastation, perils to human safety, threats to human health from contamination of water and the spread of water-borne diseases, detrimental effects on ecosystems, and severe economic losses to individuals and society.
Inland flooding is a common occurrence in Atlantic Canada. In Newfoundland and Labrador, inland floods are primarily caused by rain combined with snowmelt and ice jamming.
In Nova Scotia, inland flooding can be caused by torrential rainfalls, sudden thaws, and failure of infrastructure. Flood-plain areas include those along the Musquodoboit River, the Sackville and Little Sackville Rivers, East River (Pictou), Antigonish-area rivers, and Truro-area rivers.
In Prince Edward Island, inland flooding is primarily the result of heavy precipitation, often as a result of extra-tropical storms (remnants of hurricanes).
In New Brunswick, inland flooding is primarily the result of sudden heavy rain or rain-on-snow events, ice jamming, or a combination of these factors. The areas most prone to inland flooding (in terms of flood area and potential flood severity) are along the Saint John River from Fredericton to Lower Jemseg, the Kennebecasis River (and tributaries) from the Sussex area to Hampton, and Marsh Creek in the City of Saint John; past flooding events have occurred along many rivers and streams throughout the province.