North

Dempster Highway ferry crossing at Fort McPherson still closed

The Dempster Highway ferry crossing at Fort McPherson, N.W.T., has been closed since Thursday due to high water levels in the Peel River.

N.W.T. Department of Transportation considering resuming service with lighter-than-usual loads

High water levels at the Abraham Francis ferry landing July 8. The ferry has not been operating since last Thursday due to the water levels in the Peel River. (N.W.T. Department of Transportation)

The Dempster Highway ferry crossing at Fort McPherson, N.W.T., has been closed since Thursday due to high water levels in the Peel River.

The ferry was previously closed last Monday due to high water, then reopened Tuesday.

A spokesperson for the N.W.T. Department of Transportation says water levels are still high but have receded since Sunday. Crews are working to repair the landings on both sides of the river.

The department said it is considering resuming ferry operations with lighter loads so that the traffic can be cleared.

Fort McPherson resident Robert Alexie Sr. says the hamlet is busier than usual with stranded travellers enduring the long wait. 

"I keep telling them, you're a resident of McPherson now," he said. "Welcome to the Arctic."

The fact that cellphone service is also down is adding to the inconvenience for people stuck on both sides of the crossing, he said.

The ferry service runs from early June to the end of October and operates on demand.

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