Heavy rain leads to washouts on Yukon’s Annie Lake Road

Four Yukon fire crews filled more than 300 sandbags this weekend to protect cabins, on the Annie Lake Road, from the Wheaton River.
Four Yukon fire crews filled more than 300 sandbags this weekend to protect cabins from the Wheaton River on Annie Lake Road. (Yukon Wildland Fire Management/Twitter)

Paddler David Morissette was hoping to canoe the Wheaton River on Saturday, but couldn't make it down the Annie Lake Road because of flooding.

“It’s not one washout,” Morissette says. “It’s a multiple washout.”

Last week's heavy rain across much of southern Yukon left patches of water three to four metres long on the road, which lies between Whitehorse and Carcross in an area popular with hikers, paddlers and other backcountry users. 

High water also required nearby cabins to be protected by sandbags.

George Maratos says Yukon Wildland Fire Management conducted aerial surveys of the area.

“We also had crews working on the ground trying to prevent any damage from the rising water, so more than 300 sandbags were filled by our firefighters.”

Maratos says the water level has receded enough that there is no threat to the area.

Doris Wurfbaum, communications and public relations analyst with the Department of Highways and Public Works, says the department learned about a road washout Saturday morning from the Emergency Management Office, and now has reports of a number of washouts.

Wurfbaum says they happened on a portion of the road the department doesn’t typically maintain, but the department will seek a contractor to do the repairs.

However, she says there are bigger priorities during construction season, and the repairs will be done as resources are available.