Parts of Yukon on flood watch as rivers break up

A warmer weather forecast for the Yukon means the threat of spring flooding is far from over. The communities of Upper Liard and Ross River are currently at a high risk of floods.

Upper Liard and Ross River on high alert

With warmer weather forecast around the Yukon, the threat of flooding is far from over.

The latest flood forecast, issued by the Yukon Government, has moved Upper Liard and Ross River into the red, meaning they are at a high risk for floods.

Danger ratings are also considered moderate in Old Crow and Rock Creek, just outside of Dawson City.

Ross River has already seen some damage from flooding this year and Upper Liard is still rebuilding from damaging floods last spring.

Yukon Government information officer George Maratos said Yukoners in those areas need to be prepared if the water starts rising.

Ross River and Upper Liard are at a high risk of flooding today. (Yukon Department of Community Services)

"The Rock Creek community is a good example of a community that was well prepared - not having valuables in areas that are at risk of damage from flooding. I guess if you are in any flood-prone area, you should have a preparedness plan, an emergency plan, and just know how a flood would affect your property. Now is the time to prepare," said Maratos.

Peak water levels at Ross River aren't expected until the first week in June.

Water levels at Upper Liard are increasing steadily right now, rising about 10 centimetres a day.

Damage assessments

Damage assessment teams are headed to Dawson City and Ross River this morning to survey the damage from last weekend’s flooding.

Residents had the last several days to register any damage with the territorial government.

"We have been in touch with residents in the areas. It’s hard to know at this point how many homes have been affected and what the extent of the damage is, but we will know more once the damage assessment teams are on the ground" said Clea Roberts, who is with the Yukon Housing Corporation.

The Upper Rock Creek road was closed this past weekend after a new flood.

The Dawson City area had been dry for a couple of days after break-up occurred last week, but an ice jam upstream brought water levels up again in certain areas.

Workers back at mine

The Kaminak Gold Corporation is sending employees back to its mine exploration camp in Coffee Creek.

The entire mine camp was evacuated last Friday afternoon after it began to flood. There was about three quarters of a metre of water at the peak, caused by an ice jam downstream the Yukon River.

"We feel pretty lucky that we seem to have gotten off really lightly  and a lot of our equipment and the camp areas are sort of built up and it escaped significant damage," said Eira Thomas, the president and CEO of the Kaminak Gold Corporation.

Crews are still assessing the damage.

The camp is located about 130 kilometres south of Dawson City.