Southern Lakes MLA: Flood risk, but not as high as last year

·2 min read

Water levels appear to be dropping on Yukon river systems and still rising in the Southern Lakes.

The Yukon government has ended high stream flow advisories in Dawson, Ross River and for the Liard River. In Ross River, the pedestrian bridge is now open and the North Canol Road ferry (Pelly barge) is running from 8 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m.to 5 p.m. seven days a week.

Flood warnings are continuing for Teslin Lake and the Yukon River at Carmacks, and evacuation alerts are also being maintained for specific areas in those two communities. Water levels are dropping.

In the Southern Lakes system including Lake Laberge, the water levels are still rising, but, according to the Yukon’s water resources branch’s July 7 report, they “are showing a decreasing rate of rise.” On June 30, a high water advisory was issued for Lake Laberge.

“These lakes are expected to continue rising for at least the next seven days, although a plateau and even a slight decline are possible in the coming weeks. The Southern Lakes typically peak in August; however, a scenario similar to 2021 in which they peak, decline, rise again, then decline into the fall is possible again this year,” the advisory says.

The levels of the lakes vary, but all four – Marsh, Tagish, Bennet and Laberge — are 50 to 100 centimetres below 2021 elevations. Last years’ initial peak on Marsh Lake occurred July 10, and the other lakes peaked shortly after. Levels are expected to peak in the next few days.

For Tagish Lake residents in frequent flooding areas who wish to bolster their flood mitigation efforts, bags are being delivered to the fire hall. A volunteer sandbagging day is happening at the Tagish community centre from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July 16. Sand and sandbag stations have now been set up at Tagish bridge, and in Laberge at the Deep Creek, Horse Creek and Shallow Bay Roads.

Earlier this year, MLA John Streicker indicated in his recent flood updates that “there is flood risk, but unlikely to be as high as last year.”

Lawrie Crawford, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Yukon News

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