Fredericton — Dragging her feet in the sand with sandals in-hand, Joanne Archibald, 51, discussed how she’ll spend her time off after her office was flooded.
“Every summer I promise myself that I’ll make the trip up to Youghall or over to Parlee, but never do. These new pop-up sandbars really give a sense of ‘beach’ to Freddy.”
She then lifted her foot, pulling a broken piece of a Bud Light bottle from her heel. “River sea glass,” she said, holding it up to the grey sky. “I’ve already begun quite the collection.”
Moving away from the crowds, Archibald picked up a piece of driftwood and wrote “NB fLOoD 2109” in the sand.
Multiple sandbars have dotted Saint Anne’s Point Drive, a welcome consequence of the swollen St. John River. The unnatural sandbars were caused by leftover winter ice-melting sand that covers Fredericton.
Swarms of weekend warriors have invaded downtown Fredericton, hoping to get a meticulously planned candid for social media.
“I rushed down from Applewood Acres to try and get a glimpse Friday evening, but when I got there the sandbars had disappeared,” explained Leigh-Ann Humby, 43. “Thankfully the melting snow and heavy rain brought them back for the weekend.”
The new vacation spot has already been christened eighth “most beautiful place to live” and third “most exciting place to drown” by Tourism New Brunswick.
Sgt. Kenneth “Kermit” Mackeracher, 59, a highly decorated veteran of the Oka Crisis, is in command of the relief operations in the Fredericton area.
His entire battalion was officially declared A.W.O.L. two days ago — we found them wading in the thigh-high water.
“The St. John’s rushing water and ice chunks create the optimal conditions for river riding,” explained Mackeracher, pointing at a group of surfing soldiers. “See how those eyesore bridge piers cut the water halfway? Creates the perfect break.”
When asked whether he should be focussing his men on aiding the EMO staff, he screamed “TALLON DON’T SURF!”
Taking inspiration from the beach-goers, some victims in flooded areas have started filling bags with the sand that lines Fredericton’s dry roads.
“Might as well take advantage of the city’s mess,” said Patsy Soles, 37, filling a bag on Smythe Street. “I was waiting in line over near Costco when I remembered the wicked sandstorms we got last summer.”
As she lifted her shovel, a lone cyclist rounded the corner. He slid over a patch of sand, wiping out.
“I’m really hoping next year I’ll get a chance to see the ‘bars for myself,” said Soles. “Too bad they’re calling this flood a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”