Evacuees returning, assessment teams flown in as water levels lower in Fort Simpson

A clinic tent set up as a health centre in Fort Simpson. (Supplied by GNWT.)
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Residents and professional assessment teams are returning to homes in Fort Simpson to weigh up the damage caused by flooding.

Water levels have receded to the point where residents can return to the island — an area of the village which is closest to the water and most heavily impacted by the flooding. Those who stayed in the community are able to return to their homes, and have started assessing the damage to their properties.

The Village of Fort Simpson requested evacuees who left the community start being sent back, according to a spokesperson from for the Emergency Management Organization (EMO).

More than 100 residents had been evacuated to Fort Smith. Other residents had set up tents on higher ground and have been camping since an evacuation order was issued on May 8.

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The Regional EMO is arranging for additional camping supplies in case of a need to support evacuees in tent environments.

Donations have been pouring in for people impacted by the flooding, including those in Fort Simpson. 

Eleven thousand pound of groceries was flown into the community on May 15. Fort Smith has also been receiving donations to accommodate the evacuated residents.

Fort Simpson is still accepting large donations of cleaning supplies. Cash donations can be made through the United Way NWT.

There’s also an assessment team from the Taylor Architecture Group ready to enter the community, with a Buffalo Air charter on 24 hour notice. NorthWest Builders are also on site for emergency repair and are awaiting clearance from EMO to enter the community.

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The village included tips for people on their Facebook page when returning to their properties, including not using appliances until they’ve been inspected by an electrician and taking photos of all damage to send to insurance companies.

The Northwest Territories Power Corporation released a statement telling residents there would be a planned power outage between 3 and 4 p.m. on Wednesday for residents living off island, including the North Store.

A boil water advisory was issued for residents living on the island on May 18.

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