Stay away from Government Dock and Hank Koenen Park: City

Old buildings on Great Slave Lake. (Photo by Bailey Moreton/MyTrueNorthnow.com.)
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New safety signs and precautions will be put in place at a couple of spots along the shores of Great Slaves Lake as water levels continue to rise.

Starting Friday, warnings will be set up at Yvonne Quick Heritage Wharf — also known as the Government Dock — and the Hank Koenen Park by the city, “to strongly discourage the recreational use of these areas due to high water levels.”

“The Yvonne Quick Heritage Wharf remains in use as a working dock and, as such, will be accessible to commercial fishers and other licenced users,” a spokesperson for the City of Yellowknife said in a statement. 

“The City advises the public against gathering at the dock given the safety risks created by the high water and ongoing commercial uses,” the statement adds. “Signs and safety barriers will be in place at both locations, advising the public of the risk.”

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

A spokesperson for the City of Yellowknife said they didn’t expect flooding would have a big impact this year in the city, despite the GNWT’s report and a separate report from the University of Waterloo’s Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation, which gave Yellowknife a ‘D’ ranking for flood preparedness, tied for the lowest among cities surveyed.

Flooding has already impacted a number of communities in the NWT. Evacuees in Fort Simpson are only just returning to their community after flooding happened earlier in May.

An evacuation order for Hay River residents was lifted on May 11, but a boil water advisory remains in place after the town’s water source was contaminated by the flooding.

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