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Evacuees line up for second day of flights out of Yellowknife

As evacuees head back to line up at Sir John Franklin High School to register as one of the approximately 2,000 people able to leave by air on Friday, those who are on the second day of waiting say their patience is packed and they’re making the best out of a bad situation.

Monica Endler, who is visiting family in Yellowknife from Thunder Bay, Ontario, says when she arrived in the north recently, she admittedly wasn’t too concerned about the situation facing residents in the region, but it became evident in a quick way.

“We didn’t realize the fire was as bad as it was,” Endler adds.

Evacuees began lining up for flight registrations on Thursday, however, the Government of the Northwest Territories says those flights quickly filled up, with 1,043 people are being airlifted from Yellowknife on evacuation flights on August 17th. Endler was among those vying for a spot on some of the first flights out, but, even with the disappointment of having to return a second day, she credits the resilient spirit of those in the north for making it managable.

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“At least three blocks long in an hour and a half we moved about 15 feet, but they weren’t unruly when we were told to leave, we all just left, I can’t believe how friendly everybody is here,” she says.

“They came around with snacks and water, I think it was handled really well, but unfortunately we had to go back and come back this morning.”

Flights from Yellowknife will begin taking off for Calgary at 7 a.m Friday, and nearly every half hour later until 7 p.m. The GNWT says the hope is that 21 flights will be able to ship approximately 2,000 people out of the region by end of day Friday, in addition to those who are able to evacuate by land or commercial flight.

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