Flood Stories

From 1987 as told by Andover Elementary Grade 3 Students

The Train Bridge just before it was wiped out

The Train Bridge just before it was wiped out

Contributed by Joe Gee
Flood season is fast approaching here in the St. John Valley.  For many this means preparation while for others this may be a time for reflection.  The impacts of flooding may be very different from one person to the next depending on age, location and occupation.  How flooding affects a business owner along the Perth river bank may very be different from how it affects a farmer over the hill. The same difference can be said for a senior living at the manor and child attending public school. The truth of the matter is, spring flooding affects everybody, whether it be the people of a small town along the mighty St. John or those of a neighboring community.  With difficulties understanding the many different impacts of natural disasters and how it affects each individual,  it is remains important to share experiences through photos, song or story.
The following is a compilation of stories of the Perth Andover flood that occurred on April 2, 1987.  The orange book that contains the children’s stories of the Andover Elementary Grade 3 students was given by Brenda McCarthy-Jarvis.  I met Brenda one day when she stopped to buy some vegetables in town. I immediately recognized her despite the fact it had been ages since I sat in a little wooden desk of her Grade 3 classroom.  After a lengthy conversation and the sale of some fresh produce, she continued on her way home to Kiersteadville NB. 

 Later that summer I learned through friends that Brenda had been diagnosed with cancer.  Brenda’s sister-in-law, Caroline Johnston, along with her friend Reid DeMerchant, visited Brenda and her husband one weekend at their home.  While there, Brenda went to her basement and retrieved a book from her filing cabinet, gave it to Reid and Caroline and explained that she wanted me to have it. The following day, Caroline and Reid invited me to their home in Tobique Narrows to give me the wonderful stories that Brenda had kept tucked away for twenty-four years.

 In the late summer of 2012, Reid DeMerchant was also diagnosed with cancer.  Reid,  who loved to tell stories of his father’s experience as a salmon guide and life on the Narrows before power dams, peacefully passed away on November 5th, 2012.  Brenda McCarthy-Jarvis, who loved her students, loved teaching and treasured her students work, peacefully passed away November 10th, 2012.  It is with gratitude that these wonderful and insightful stories be dedicated in the memory of both Reid and Brenda and  all the victims of the flood of 1987.

The Flood
On Thursday April 2, 1987 there was a flood in Perth-Andover.   The flood took the train bridge.  Some people got pictures of the train bridge falling.  The water was high.  Some of the houses were damaged and some were ruined.  Some people lost everything and some people just a little bit.  We were lucky nobody died.
By Scott McGivney

                                                                  Tragedy in Perth-Andover  
CRASH! Call the RCMP!!  Last Thursday morning people were told to evacuate.  Evacuate is when someone or something is told to get out of this place and go somewhere it’s safe.  We all learned about it when a flood came to life.  1200 people were told to evacuate. People started to clean up the mess when they were allowed back in town.  It is nuisance cleaning it up but it is a hard job but someone has to do it!  The Perth school is closed and the hospital was too.  Now all we have to worry about is money.  It’s going to take a lot of it to clean and build new homes but for now we have a lot of sad people in Perth-Andover.
By Dean Post

Flood in Perth-Andover
My cousin  Jerry’s house got flooded and they lost everything except for a pair of pants on top of the T.V.  At about 2:00 am Twila started to bark so Jerry got up to let the dog in.  As he opened the door the water rushed in on him and he told his parents and they left and went to Bob and Kurts.  We had to leave Thursday morning.  The N.B.W.P told Dad to leave.  Mom took us up to Four Falls to my aunts.  The next day we all went down to Perth to help my cousin clean up.
By Brian Innis 3G

Flood in Perth-Andover
Thursday morning when Mom and Dad got up to go to work Kelly and I got up to go to school.  Mom turned on the radio and the news said for people to evacuate.  We went to Aroostook to my friend’s house and spent the night.  When we went back home there was not a drop of water in the house.  We were lucky we didn’t get flooded.
By Jason Flint 3G

The Flood in Perth-Andover
Wednesday at 9:30pm I went to bed and mommy and Laurie stayed up watching the river till 11:00pm.  Then they went in and watched T.V. till 1:40am.  The Police came to the door and told us to take our dogs and get out.  We grabbed our two dogs and by the time we got out it was 2:00 in the morning so we went up to June’s and stayed the rest of the night.  Thursday and Friday and Monday I stayed out to the camp.  Next Saturday, Sunday and Monday I stayed at Judy’s.  The Thursday I went to my house again and everything was floating and the wall paper and the paint was off too.  The porch was full of ice and water.  A tree fell down on our lawn.  It was our last tree.  Our family started the furnace.  We thought we were going to stay the night.  We didn’t know that the furnace was wet so it made a fire in our house.  The firemen had to tear my bedroom almost all to pieces on the walls and the cupboards to get the fire out.

By Lacey Millard 3G
The Flood in Perth-Andover
My Great Grandmother got flooded.  She lived in an apartment just before you get to the Legion.  All you could see was the roof. They came and got her at 4:00m.  She lost her T.V. and furniture.  She had a lot of money.  She had about $2000 or more.  My mother and Aunt Mary had to go through the apartment.  The water was up to her butt but they got the money out.  She is up to my grandmother’s house.  My aunt Jenny couldn’t go across the bridge to the bank.  The hospital was flooded and washed first floor staff on it.  Thursday and Friday we didn’t have school because of the flood. So I rode my bike.  On the way up town I saw some big pieces of ice and I can tell you they were BIG.  I went down to Perth church to see the river and the train tracks.  The train couldn’t hold the bridge.  There was a great big chunk of ice on it so I might never see the train bridge again.  I hope they build another bridge for our train.
By Wendy Kilcollins

Flood in Perth-Andover
Perth-Andover had a big flood.  Woodstock, Fredericton and Maine had a flood too.  Perth-Andover’s train bridge tumbled over and made it move a bit. Over 1,872 people had to leave their homes or they’ll get killed.  The workers are trying to get the fertilizer out of the water before it poisons the fish.  All people are on TV because they want to tell people about the flood.  In Fredericton and Woodstock, people had to get out their boats.  Stores and schools are closed in Woodstock and Perth-Andover because the streets are flooded.  That’s why I’m glad I live on a farm. 
By Joseph Gee 3G

Flood in Perth-Andover
Mom, Karen and Patricia had to go to town but the town was flooded.  So they went to Plaster Rock to the store.  However, on the way to Plaster Rock the road bridge was flooded too so they had to go around the other road to get to the main road.  On Friday, Mom, Dad, Tina, Karen and I wanted to see the bridge, but we couldn’t see it because the NBHP stopped us.  We had gone to see the bridge for nothing so we went home.  Patricia, my sister and her boyfriend started down to see the bridge too.  We tried to stop them but they did not stop the car because they didn’t see us.  I finally got to see the bridge pier where the train bridge used to be on Saturday. 
By Jeannie Michaud 3G

Flood in Perth-Andover
Last Wednesday night around 2 am, some people were told to leave their homes immediately because there might be a flood.  By morning even the patients at the hospital were moved.  Most were moved to Victoria Glenn Manor but some were sent home. Ambulances from nearby communities were available to help move people to safety.  Even the army was needed!
By Wesley P. DeMerchant 3G

Flood in Perth-Andover
My mother works at the old people’s home but she had to cancel it because she couldn’t get to work.  My family went to the flood. We didn’t see the bridge but we did see the mess.  The road was tore up in places.  I saw cars under water and a house in two.  There was a lot of damage.  I saw Lacey’s house, it was a mess too.  The flood water was very, very high.  My mother was scared because she didn’t want the flood to go into the old people’s home.  I didn’t either because they would die.  Ambulances had to put the patients in another place because the hospital was flooded too.  It was very bad even cows and calves were drowned in the flood.  I didn’t get flooded because I live on a big hill.  I like my home.  My whole family does too.  We hope we don’t get flooded ever.  I don’t want it to flood any year because the fish will die and Perth-Andover will be gone for sure.  I like my neighborhood.  Everybody should like their neighborhood. 
By Kimberly Michaud 3G

Flood in Perth-Andover
On Thursday night we had a flood in Perth-Andover.  Mom heard it on the radio but was expecting it because dad had told her the water was high when he went to Bon Accord Seed Farm.  Mom called Mr. Spears and he told her there wasn’t any school.  In the morning I sat out for four hours and watched the flood with my dad’s binoculars.  I thought I saw the train bridge fall.  It was an exciting day with all the police around, army trucks and helicopters flying over.  I thought it was an exciting day but was sad that other people got flooded.
By Jason DeMerchant  3G

The Flood in Perth-Andover NB
It was Thursday, April 2, 1987 and at 6:30 am, someone knocked on our door and said get out it is flooding.  I was scared and I had to use the bathroom badly but there was no electricity so I didn’t use the bathroom.  We went by Arthurette and got gas for the car and went to my grandmother’s house for shelter.  I had breakfast and then went to get some pictures of the flood.  I got two pictures and Phillip got one picture.  Some of the furniture was good and some was bad.  Some we aren’t sure of until it dries out.  My radio is no good.  The TV, waterbed and dressers are no good.  My toys are all right but I lost a truck and a wrestling man, maybe they floated away down the river.  The End.
By Mark Everett 3G

Flood in Perth-Andover
When the flood happened I was so sad I thought I was going to cry because someone was going to get hurt.  I’m so glad they never got hurt.  I thought my friend Lacey who lives on the river bank was going to get hurt during the flood.  Lacey’s house had a fire I was so glad she never got hurt.  I was so glad, I’m telling you when I finally saw Lacey and she told me she was alright.
By Francine Nichols

The Flood
My dad went to get the baskets out of the Haines Equipment basement but a RCMP officer came along.  The RCMP said he had to leave right then.  The RCMP officer did not say he would help him at all.  Then Dad said “It would only take a minute.”  The RCMP told him he would have to leave right then, but Dad said “No!”  The RCMP said, “I will have to leave to arrest you if you don’t come now.” But Dad said he was not going and then the RCMP helped him.  In the morning around one 1:00 the train bridge went down and there were 17 train cars on the train bridge.   There was a helicopter going around the town.  We went to see the town but they wouldn’t let us in.
By Ryan McLaughlin 3G

Flood in Perth-Andover
There was a flood in Perth-Andover on April 2, 1987.  I think it started at 1:30am.  I couldn’t sleep because there was lots of noise.  I asked my mom why she was up so early? She said there is a flood.  I asked her if we could go see the flood and she said we can.  When it was time to go see the flood the police had blocked the road.  When we had to go to the store to buy potatoes for the fries and carrots and lettuce.  Our whole restaurant was full we didn’t even have a place to sit down we took our food downstairs.  My mom didn’t have time for lunch she had to wash dishes.  My brother and I had to help do the dishes.  We had to call lots of waitresses and cooks and people who work in the office.  But most of them were across the bridge and the bridge was closed because it was shaking. My mom went to sleep very early because she was tired.  The next morning was still busy but better than yesterday because some people went back home.
By Khilan Patel 3G

The Flood
In Perth-Andover Wednesday night around 3:30 some people were told to evacuate.  Some people went to the Galaxy Motel, family, friends and homes.  My cousin Tony lost everything he had.  And he is now staying at the Galaxy until his father finds a place to live. Then the hospital started shipping out patients.  They needed all the help they could get from anyone.  They were worried about the train bridge between Perth-Andover so in the morning they put boxcars with chemicals to try and save the bridge from falling but it did.  You can see from the bus a house by Lacey’s house split in half.  Later on in the afternoon they didn’t let anybody across the car bridge because they weren’t sure if that was going to fall down or not.  The water was very high off the ground.  At the Farmer Store it was up to the windows and a farmer lost 21 cattle in the flood.  The flood did a lot of damage in Perth-Andover.
By Todd Adam 3G

The Flood
When I saw the flood my eyes went out of my head.  I was scared because my friend who lives in Perth. He might have got killed.  Just as I went to see the train bridge fell down.  I stayed for a while.  It was sad when the train bridge fell down.  I said there’s not going to be anymore trains going.  Then I saw a house crack.  I said holy man.  There was trash floating down the river and logs.  I should of brought my surfboard just a joke.  There was no school that was the best thing about it.  Just another joke.  They called the RCMP and the NBHP to come help.  The road was blocked because of the flood.  The flood was quite a scene.  The End.
By Glen DeMerchant 3G

The Flood
We drove down to Perth from Carlingford to see the flood.  It was a mess.  There were logs everywhere.  Afterwards we drove down to Beachwood and saw lots of ice, logs and other things floating in the muddy water.  My friend Jason had to leave his home.  He had no power or phone.  I heard that the train bridge fell.  It had train cars on it.  Some people lost everything.  We had no school for two days.  The water was high and now everyone is cleaning up the mess.

The Flood
I went to Perth-Andover and saw it where it had flood.  The black train bridge had fallen down in the water.  When the train bridge fell 17 train cars went in the water too.  I thought my two friends were in the flood come in their homes.  I was happy when I heard on the news everyone was safe.  They had an army truck.  It was moving the beds and the ambulances were helping people to other hospitals.  They had the RCMP helicopter there to look at the water where the bridge had fallen down.  In some houses the flood broke the windows. And I felt sad to see the mess the flood made.
By Shawn Goodine 3G


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