Carmacks issues evacuation alert for some homes as floodwaters threaten wastewater treatment plant

·2 min read
As seen here along River Drive, crews have been sandbagging properties and streets in Carmacks as water levels rise on the Yukon River. (Jackie Hong/CBC - image credit)
As seen here along River Drive, crews have been sandbagging properties and streets in Carmacks as water levels rise on the Yukon River. (Jackie Hong/CBC - image credit)

Homes in Carmacks, Yukon, that use the village's wastewater treatment plant are now under an evacuation alert as water levels on the Yukon River continue to rise.

The plant is at risk of being overwhelmed, and the village doesn't know how much longer it can last, Mayor Lee Bodie said on Sunday.

"There may be an evacuation order coming any day," Bodie said.

"I'm not trying to scare anybody, but just be warned it might be coming in the next couple days if the water rises and we do have to evacuate the people who are serviced by the wastewater treatment plant."

Yukon government officials said on Monday that the river had risen more than seven centimetres for each of the past two days. They added the water level was expected to continue to rise for the next two days and peak later this week, about 20 cm higher than it was Monday.

Jackie Hong/CBC
Jackie Hong/CBC

There are several properties at risk of flooding as well, including Nina Dickson's house, which backs onto the Yukon River.

The water is about 20 feet away from her home.

"It's a little stressful," Dickson said. "I have a two-year-old and a newborn I just had about a week ago, so it's stressful thinking about having to pack up and live in my mom's trailer for a couple of weeks. It's not ideal."

Wildland fire crews helped build a wall of sandbags around her property over the weekend, and officials have been providing her with regular updates.

Jackie Hong/CBC
Jackie Hong/CBC

People under an evacuation alert should be ready to leave on short notice.

Residents in Carmacks and the Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation are also being asked to limit their water use by avoiding laundry, showering and even toilet-flushing if possible.

Residents on well water are under a boil water advisory.

Elsewhere in the territory, government officials on Monday downgraded the flood warning for the Pelly River at Ross River to a high streamflow advisory. An evacuation alert had been issued for some parts of the community on June 12 after the flood warning had been issued on June 7.

Officials also downgraded the flood warning issued on June 10 for Liard River and its tributaries in Upper Liard to a high streamflow advisory. The high streamflow advisory for the Stewart River at Mayo was ended.

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