As Yellowknifers pack up and leave the territory by vehicle and by plane — which residents of Hay River, K’atl’odeeche First Nation, Fort Smith and Enterprise have already had to do — NWT Premier Caroline Cochrane released this statement overnight:
“We’re all tired of the word unprecedented, yet there is no other way to describe this situation in the Northwest Territories. The country is watching, and our neighbours are keeping us in their thoughts and prayers.
“Earlier today, I spoke with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He assured me that the GNWT has the Canadian government’s full support, and that they will assist in any way they can.
“We’re all in this together, but individually we choose how to react. I know this is a situation full of uncertainty, but we must take steps to stay calm and not make any decisions that will put those around us in danger.
“This means that if you are able to evacuate by road, obey all warning signs, emergency management officials, traffic control devices and posted speed limits. Do not make any rash decisions that can put other people in danger.
“We will get through this. Now more than ever is the time to ask for help if you need it and to work together.”