The risk of flooding in Fort Simpson is "officially over" the N.W.T. village said around midday on Saturday.
In a statement posted to its website, the village says an ice jam has cleared and the water level as of 11:50 a.m. has been dropping.
An update from the territorial government around the same time said that water on the Mackenzie River rose by about 4.5 metres Friday, reaching a peak of 11 metres in the evening. The rising levels were caused by a long stretch of ice moving by the community, the bulletin said, and the levels dropped once it had passed.
Fort Simpson lies at the confluence of the Liard and Mackenzie rivers. The high water levels on the Mackenzie impeded the flow of the Liard yesterday, driving up its levels too. The territory says the Liard River level has since gone down as well, and the remaining ice on that channel is moving well.
As of 10 a.m. Saturday morning, the territory said water on the Mackenzie River fell to 8.1 metres.
Break up hasn't started in Beaufort Delta yet
People living in the Dehcho community, who experienced devastating flooding in the spring of 2021, may be breathing a sigh of relief. But further north, communities continue to keep a watchful eye on river water levels.
In a precautionary update Friday, the government said two tributaries to the Mackenzie River — the Arctic Red and Peel rivers — were experiencing high water levels and flow rates.
The territory said both those river basins have increased potential for flooding because there was a lot of snow over the winter, there was far more rain in the Sahtu and Beaufort Delta regions last summer and fall, and the spring season has been colder than normal — unlike the unusually warm spring being felt in the southern N.W.T.
The ice has not started to break up on the Peel River or along rivers in the Beaufort Delta yet, the territory said.