Part of the Dempster Highway is underwater near Inuvik, N.W.T.

·1 min read
Water flooded across a stretch of the Dempster Highway this week, reaching three feet high in places. (Submitted by N.W.T. Department of Infrastructure - image credit)
Water flooded across a stretch of the Dempster Highway this week, reaching three feet high in places. (Submitted by N.W.T. Department of Infrastructure - image credit)

Water levels are starting to drop in the Mackenzie Delta area of the N.W.T., but parts of the Dempster Highway remain closed due to flooding.

On Monday, the N.W.T. Department of Infrastructure posted a notice to Twitter that about 100 kilometres of the Dempster were closed due to flooding.

Merle Carpenter, the department's regional superintendent for the Beaufort Delta region, said Tuesday afternoon that the Mackenzie River had backed up and water was rising on Campbell Lake, just south of Inuvik.

It spread across the Dempster Highway for about half a kilometre.

"Our staff is trying to keep the highway open as long as we can, and just making sure everybody's patient and respectful," he said.

"I think they were crossing a little bit when it first started, but now I think it's at least three feet in some areas. So it's pretty deep."

Submitted by the N.W.T. Department of Infrastructure
Submitted by the N.W.T. Department of Infrastructure

Carpenter said his team is ready to do an assessment once the water recedes, in case they need to do any work to make the road stable.

The N.W.T.'s water monitoring report for Wednesday said water levels in Inuvik have dropped by about half a metre since peaking Monday night.

There is a small ice jam in the west channel of the Mackenzie River, downstream of Aklavik.

Water levels in Aklavik are still "well above average," the report notes, but have been dropping slowly.

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