North

Flooding at Caribou Crossing as record Yukon snowpack melts

A popular roadside stop outside Carcross, Yukon, is dealing with flooding as crews dig trenches and work industrial pumps. The area saw higher-than-normal snowpack this spring.

'All of the buildings for the tourism operations, our museums — they've had water in them'

Water has now receded in this section of the Caribou Crossing Trading Post, but general manager Dale Colbran says some buildings did have water inside. (Philippe Morin/CBC)

A popular roadside stop outside Carcross, Yukon, is dealing with flooding. 

The Caribou Crossing Trading Post has seen some damage, says general manager Dale Colbran. Snow melt in the area is far above the seasonal average.

"All of the buildings for the tourism operations, our museums — they've had water in them. Our animal yards are all under water, so all of our walkways, our boardwalks. There are millions of gallons in here," he said on Tuesday.

The site is in a low valley.

Among its attractions are husky dogs, all of them now relocated to higher ground. 

The strategy so far has been to contain the water in a retaining pool, then use a motorized pump to get it across the street into a ditch. (Philippe Morin/CBC)

This year's snow pack is reason for concern in Yukon, particularly in the Southern Lakes region. 

Caribou Crossing isn't the only area that's at risk of flooding. 

The Carcross/Tagish First Nation (CTFN) has already filled more than a thousand sandbags. Local students, teachers, the First Nation's staff, and members of the RCMP have all helped with the shovelling.

"We are expecting some high water in some places, so in preparation for that we are coordinating our efforts," said Patrick Brown, who is CTFN's manager of operations and maintenance.

Staff at Caribou Crossing continue their work with plans to open for the season on May 21. 

Staff member Peter Mpala said they're making progress, albeit slowly.

"We are just praying that it doesn't rain again," he said.

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