More flood watches and boil water advisories issued as Yukon water levels creep up

·2 min read
Water creeps over the boat launch at Marsh Lake. Levels continue to rise in the Southern Lakes area, though daily increases lately have been smaller than earlier in the week.  (Paul Tukker/CBC - image credit)
Water creeps over the boat launch at Marsh Lake. Levels continue to rise in the Southern Lakes area, though daily increases lately have been smaller than earlier in the week. (Paul Tukker/CBC - image credit)

As water levels in Lake Laberge hit a historic high, the Yukon government is issuing three new flood watches — adding to the flood warning already out for the Southern Lakes region.

In the Southern Lakes area, boil water advisories have also been issued for residents of Army Beach and South McClintock with wells or underground water storage tanks as a "precautionary measure."

The new flood watches are for Lake Laberge, Kusawa Lake and the Takhini River, said Echo Ross, a public information officer at Yukon's Emergency Coordination Centre.

In a Friday interview on CBC's Yukon Morning with guest host Paul Tukker, she said the water at Lake Laberge is rising by about 10 centimetres a day.

No need for evacuation right now

"At this point, there's no need for an evacuation of any properties," Ross said, adding that a crew has been stationed at Jackfish Bay to help residents with sandbags.

Meanwhile, sandbagging continues in the Southern Lakes region, which has been under a flood warning since Tuesday.

"The water levels in Southern Lakes do continue to rise… but actually, the rate has started [going down]," said Ross.

Yesterday, levels rose by eight centimetres — compared with 12 centimetres earlier in the week.

Still, Ross said it's expected that water levels will be higher than they were during the 2007 flood by either this weekend or next week, depending on conditions.

"I'm sure we all remember the historic flooding that happened in 2007. We're just preparing the best that we can for that," she said.

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

There have been no evacuation orders in the Southern Lakes region at this point, but residents like Ernie Bourassa are doing everything they can to prepare.

"Right now we are in the process of putting a berm in place and [getting] it built up big enough to fend off the flood waters," he told CBC News.

Notices issued for Army Beach and South McClintock advise residents who use private wells or underground storage tanks to boil their water for two minutes before using it.

"Residents should keep a 72 hour supply of water on hand in case water supplies are impacted by flooding," said the government release.

"This advisory will remain in effect until flood waters recede."

The government is also advising the public to stay clear of fast-flowing rivers and potentially unstable riverbanks.

People who own flood-prone properties have been told to have a plan in place.

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