Chatham man builds ark in preparation for spring

Chatham — While most New Brunswickers are hopeful warmer weather will soon melt away the mountains of snow covering the province, one man is convinced that the worst is yet to come.

Stephen Chiasson, a 36-year-old husband and father of 2 who has experienced basement flooding every spring for the past 5 years, says he expects the hardship of the winter to pale in comparison to the affliction spring flooding will bring.

“I can see it clearly,” he said. “I believe that it will all happen much more quickly that you think. As soon as the first heavy rain starts to come, it’s all going down.”

ArkChiasson is preparing himself the best he can for the impending floods by taking apart his 2-storey home, piece by piece, and and rebuilding it into the shape of a large boat.

“I’ve got my boys helping me put it together,” he said proudly. “It’s coming along quite nicely. When we’re done, I’m estimating that it’ll be about about 20 by 10 by 6 cubits … roughly.”

Chiasson said that although he’s hoping for the best, he’s prepared for anything. “I’m making sure I have backups of everything — 2 flash drives, 2 generators, 2 tins of coffee … I’d hate to be floating out there and have something not work, or to run out of food.”

Despite the similarities, Chiasson said he resents all comparisons to Noah, the biblical figure who did pretty much exactly the same thing.

“I’m not some religious nut,” he asserted, scratching at his grey bead. “That isn’t what this is about. The only animals I’m taking on the ark are our dog Vanilla, and my son’s parakeet — and if they procreate, we’re eating it.”

Chiasson said he has been the subject of a great deal of teasing from friends and co-workers, who taunt him by saying things like “Hey Stephen, talk to God lately?” or “Make sure you watch out for those Ararat mountains!” or even “F*ck you, Stephen!”

“It’s like you can’t do anything anymore without people trying to bring religion or politics into it,” Chiasson said with obvious annoyance. “I just want what’s best for my family.”

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