Ferry's out: Travellers and supplies headed to Fort McPherson, N.W.T., stranded due to high water

Locals expect ferry could be out for a few more days, based on water levels. Meanwhile, they're offering their cabins to stranded travellers on the Dempster Highway.

Water levels up 2 metres in 4 days, forcing closure of Dempster Highway at Peel River

The Peel River ferry near Fort McPherson, N.W.T., has been docked due to high water and debris, which are making the crossing treacherous. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC)

High water on the Peel River near Fort McPherson, N.W.T., is making the crossing dangerous, and has forced the Department of Infrastructure to halt ferry service.

The department's superintendent for the Beaufort Delta region says the problem is debris coming down the river that's pushing up against the boat.

"It's a cable ferry so there is a risk to losing the ferry and the passengers and the vehicles on board the boat," said Merle Carpenter.

"It would float down the river. And we don't want that to happen."

The disruption in ferry service has left people stranded on the Yukon side of the Peel River. People in Fort McPherson have been offering their cabins to stranded travellers. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC)

Water levels have risen two metres in the last four days, according to data from the Water Survey of Canada.

The ferry has been out of service since Monday, leaving fuel, groceries and other supplies stranded across the river from Fort McPherson.

Drivers heading to Fort McPherson, Tsiigehtchic and Inuvik are also waiting for the ferry to resume.

People in Fort McPherson have been bringing food and water across the river by boat, and offering their cabins to the stranded travellers.

Carpenter says the ferry will re-open once water levels drop, but locals say judging from the water levels, that could take a few more days.

Supplies headed to Fort McPherson, N.W.T. are stranded on the Dempster highway. The ferry connecting the community to Yukon has been shut down since Monday. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC)

In the meantime, people in Fort McPherson who need to get south can drive to Inuvik and fly out of there.

The ferry has been closed because of high winds or water for five days this season.

Carpenter says it was closed for 18 days last year.

With files from Mackenzie Scott and Alyssa Mosher