Homes on Lake Laberge under evacuation alert

·2 min read
Sandbags piled around a home on Yukon's Lake Laberge on the weekend. Some residents in the area are now under an evacuation alert. (Jackie Hong/CBC - image credit)
Sandbags piled around a home on Yukon's Lake Laberge on the weekend. Some residents in the area are now under an evacuation alert. (Jackie Hong/CBC - image credit)

An evacuation alert posted by Yukon Emergency Measures Organization Sunday asked people living on Jackfish Bay Road and Duncan Lane to be ready to clear out on short notice due to high water and flooding in the area.

The order came following an evacuation alert for areas of Tagish on Saturday, along with parts of Marsh Lake and Lewes River Road last Wednesday.

An evacuation order could be issued if water levels continue to rise.

Residents are encouraged to avoid visiting properties in the area and to "proactively relocate" before flooding gets worse.

Homes affected include residences 520, 524, 532, 577, 578, 580, 583, 584, 590 and 594 on Jackfish Bay Road, and residences 6, 10, 16, 22, 28 and 34 on Duncan Lane.

Speaking to CBC Yukon on Monday morning, Community Services Minister Richard Mostyn said this is the largest flood mitigation effort in Yukon history.

Vincent Bonnay/Radio-Canada
Vincent Bonnay/Radio-Canada

He also said the state of emergency declared last week allows authorities to act more quickly to protect people's homes.

"We can close roads if we have to. We can go onto people's property if they're not there and make sure they get the sandbagging that will protect the entire community. It allows us to put sandbags in river areas that would be restricted in other times."

Mostyn said cool, dry weather in recent days has helped — the water is still rising, but not as quickly. Still, he said, flood conditions will likely continue for another month.

He encouraged people to keep helping with the sandbagging effort. He said about 250,000 sandbags were used in the 2007 flood, and that number has already doubled this year.

Chris MacIntyre/CBC
Chris MacIntyre/CBC

Many Yukoners volunteered time over the weekend to help out and fill sandbags, even if they were not directly affected by the flood waters.

"I figured I've got the time, I've got the energy and the strength so might as well come out and help those that desperately need it," said Jennifer Spencer. She lives in Whitehorse and went out to Lake Laberge on the weekend.

10-year-old Quinn Israel also came out, with his mom. His goal was to fill 50 sandbags, and seal up 75.

"It makes me feel really safe that so many good people are out there and helping out," he said.

Mostyn also said incident coordination teams need information from affected property owners. They're asked to call 867-332-7084 or email flooding@yukon.ca with the latest on their situation.

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