11 Upper Liard, Yukon, homes evacuated
Rising water on Liard River breaches 30 metre section of dike
Eleven homes in Upper Liard, Yukon, were evacuated this morning two hours before a 30 metre section of the dike protecting the community from rising water levels on the Liard River gave way.
At around 5 a.m. Saturday, Yukon Protective Services and the RCMP helped get the residents out and find alternate accommodation. Officials say everyone is safe.
Two hours after the evacuation, the dike gave way. Homes are reported to be under several feet of water and the local road on the east side of the community is cut off.
Officials may close the Alaska Highway at Upper Liard due to the high water. The bridge over the river is currently stable, but Yukon Department of Highways and Public Works engineers are in the air assessing the situation.
The bridge is currently stable but Highways and Public Works engineers are in the air assessing the current situation.
Across the border in the N.W.T., people in Fort Liard and Nahanni Butte are watching the river levels rise.
In Nahanni Butte, community leaders have not issued an evacuation order but they're taking the five elders from the community to Fort Simpson. Chief Fred Tesou says it's a precautionary measure in case an evacuation order happens quickly.
In Fort Liard, community officials say in the last few days the levels of the Liard River have risen 2.4 metres.
"It's not at what I would call a risk point, but it's definitely threatening things a little bit," said Alan Harris, the community's manager of municipal operations.
"We spoke to the people that may be affected by that high water but from the reports we hear it sounds like the river will come up a bit more yet. We're not sure how much that might mean. So we're making sure everything is prepared in town and if there should be movement of anybody anywhere."
Harris said water levels came up about 18 centimetres overnight on Friday.
He said the last significant flooding Fort Liard experienced was in 1989.