Fort Simpson island residents evacuated, state of emergency declared

An aerial shot of Fort Simpson. (Supplied by the GNWT.)
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An evacuation order has been issued for island residents in Fort Simpson, with water levels fluctuating.

The town initially issued an evacuation order around 11 a.m. for island residents. The town has been issuing regular updates measuring the water level on its Facebook page, with water levels fluctuating between 13 and 14-metres.

EVACUATION ORDER Please be advised that due to rising floodwaters an evacuation order has been issued for island…

Posted by Village of Fort Simpson on Saturday, 8 May 2021

At around 7:30 a.m., water levels reached 13.5 metres triggering the evacuation of long-term care patients by first responders. Ambulances and buses were assigned to evacuate those residents.

A State of Emergency was declared around two hours ago, giving the village council emergency powers.

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“The public is advised that for the duration of the emergency, the local authority may take any action deemed necessary as authorized by the Cilvil Emergency Measures Act,” read a post on the village’s Facebook page.

The evacuation was put on hold briefly around 1 p.m. after water levels dipped from 14.2 metres to 13.5 metres, but was then reinstated within the hour. Just after 2 p.m. water levels rose to 14.4 metres.

The flooding comes after Fort Simpson saw unseasonably high temperatures on Friday, with temperatures set to remain high throughout the weekend.

Residents are supposed to register before evacuating at the Recreation Centre or by calling 695-3300.

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