The risk of flooding has moved down river as the local government and the GNWT prepare for the next communities to be impacted by flooding, as spring breakup continues.
The Regional Emergency Management Organization (EMO) says it has lowered its support in Norman Wells and Tulita as risks have subsided. EMO is also monitoring water levels in the Beaufort Delta, with flooding potentially coming in the future.
Fort Good Hope may be one of the next communities to be impacted by flooding. EMO identified an ice jam present downriver near Fort Good Hope earlier this week. Fire crews and regional staff are preparing for flooding in the area. A small charter community, Fort Good Hope sits on the banks of the Mackenzie River in the Sahtu region.
Speaking with CBC, Roger Plouffe, the director of emergency services in Fort Good Hope, said on Tuesday the community is still on flood watch and while no state of emergency has been called yet, it’s still on the table.
He added an emergency hadn’t been declared in part because the river flow was “behaving” as expected, and people in flood risk areas “basically evacuated” already.
The EMO said in a statement that it is working on getting satellite imagery from the Government Operations Centre and Natural Resources Canada, and optical imagery from Joint Task Force North and other sources.
It is also consulting with Alberta river ice experts to better predict potential ice movement.
This comes as communities who have already evacuated are slowly starting to return to their homes and assess the damages.
Around 115 evacuees returned to Fort Simpson from Fort Smith yesterday by charter flight, with residents of the island returning to their homes and beginning to assess the damage.
Jean Marie River residents who are evacuated to Fort Providence haven’t returned to their community. Some residents who remained in the community have already returned to homes in feet of water
Tyrone Sanguez, who lives in the community, said in a Facebook message that he and several other residents had been spending days out on the land while they waited for water levels to lower.