Water levels were continuing to rise and more extensive flooding occurring throughout the Town of Hay River following evacuation of the entire community early Thursday morning.

The Town of Hay River said in its afternoon briefing on May 12 that more water is still expected.

“A significant ice jam is still within the northern portion of the community boundaries,” stated town officials in Thursday’s notice.

“Ice is broken and packed from both the West and East Channels to Delancey Estates. Water levels are again rising at this time and causing more flooding.

“Remaining pushes are anticipated to cause more flooding through the community.”

Since the evacuation took place, significant flooding has occurred downtown, and along several residential properties on Riverview Drive, Cranberry Crescent, Vale Island and other riverfront properties.

The fire department has also undertaken several rescue operations overnight and emergency responders are continuing with response activities as the evacuation order remains in place.

For the time being Yellowknife and Fort Smith are now serving as host communities for town-wide evacuation.

People travelling to Yellowknife are being asked to report at the Yellowknife Multiplex when they arrived.

The Town is also making other arrangements are still being made to provide camping options for some, including at Louise Falls Campground, Escarpment Creek Campground, and at the Kakisa Campground.

Municipal assets compromised

The Town reported that the wastewater system “has been heavily compromised” with 50 per cent of residents without functional or piped sewer services.

Additionally, road systems have been washed out or are under water or have hazardous ice on them.

The Waste Water Treatment Plant area has no power.

The airport has been closed and is only providing emergency access.

The town is also working on a preliminary hazard assessment to understand the risks of assets which will have to be fixed before evacuees can return.

Town access closed

Access to the municipality remains closed except for emergency and essential services, the town reported.

Recovery efforts aren’t expected to begin until breakup risk is reduced and hazards associated with flooding have been mitigated.

GNWT official visiting Friday

A GNWT official is expected to arrive in the town on Friday to help with recovery for residents and businesses, but more details about this work is expected to be provided at a later date.

Simon Whitehouse

Simon Whitehouse came to Yellowknife to work with Northern News Services in 2011. Simon obtained his journalism education at Algonquin College and the University of Ottawa. Simon can be reached at...

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