Yellowknife gets ‘D’ ranking for flooding preparedness: study

Houses overlooking Back Bay. (Photo by Bailey Moreton/MyTrueNorthnow.com.)
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A new study gave Yellowknife a “D” grade for its preparedness to deal with flooding.

Yellowknife was tied for the lowest score with Winnipeg, among the sixteen cities assessed by the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation’s study. The Intact Centre, run out of the University of Waterloo, stated in the survey that most cities had “made little progress to limit their risk of flooding over the past five years.”

The average score was C+.

Edmonton, Regina and Toronto had the highest scores, with B+.

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The report said open pits near Yellowknife, leftover from Giant Mine’s operations, which are near Baker Creek could present a serious problem if flooded, potentially contaminating the nearby water with arsenic.

The report also found that Yellowknife’s performance was limited when it came to mitigation planning for its critical infrastructure as well as public health and safety initiatives.

The territorial government recently highlighted Old Town in Yellowknife as one of six communities at an elevated risk of flooding, according to the GNWT’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Water levels on Great Slave Lake reached the highest level recorded since monitoring began in the 1930s this past summer. Water flows are also near record high levels for much of the summer on the Tazin, Taltson, Lockhart, Kakisa, and Hay rivers.

The research found that initial modelling suggests water levels on Great Slave Lake will not likely return to normal historical levels for an extended period of time.

The City of Yellowknife did not respond to request for comment in time for publication.

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