Flooding in Mayo, Yukon, eases off

The Mayo river was flooding basements on Friday, but the water has gone down.

Water problems have eased in Mayo, Yukon, for now.

On Friday, the Mayo River was choked with ice and water came up into many people's basements. The water is down again, but some residents are preparing for next time.

The river is normally about a hundred metres from Laura Erickson's cabin, but this winter, it's come a lot closer.

"Oh I'm really nervous, especially in the morning you can sometimes hear the ice cracking and that would mean that there's water and it's expanding,” Erickson says.

There are two snow berms between her cabin and the river, and she's adding sandbags this weekend.

“Consistently everyone is saying, I've never seen the river do this before, it has never this time of the year, flooded like this before,”  Erickson says.

The cause of the flooding is in dispute.

Some residents blame the Mayo B hydro dam, but Yukon Energy rejects that. The company has however reduced flow from the dam when the village has asked.

The Yukon government is looking to engineer a long-term fix, but that will take time, says village mayor Scott Bolton.

"The process is quite long to get it from the drawing board, onto where you're actually working on the project, so I wouldn't be surprised if we're gonna face this one more winter,” Bolton says.

In the meantime, he says the town is watching that flooding doesn't contaminate the community well.