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Hay River sounds all-clear for flooding in 2023

An image posted by the Town of Hay River on May 2, 2023 shows remaining ice passing through the community.
An image posted by the Town of Hay River on May 2, 2023 shows remaining ice passing through the community.

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The Town of Hay River says there’s no further risk of any flooding this breakup season after both of the river’s channels spat out most of their remaining ice.

In a brief message late on Tuesday, the town stated: “All risk of flooding is gone. The east and west channels are both clear and there is no further risk of flooding.”

Breakup has happened swiftly this year, helped by extremely warm temperatures in the South Slave and farther up the river basin.

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The all-clear provided by the town late on Tuesday, May 2, comes earlier in the season than the first signs of real trouble in 2022.

That year, flood warnings began on Hay River’s Vale Island around May 6. The worst of the flooding, including an evacuation order for the entire communities of Hay River and KFN, arrived on May 11.

So far, there is no immediate cause for concern as the Liard and Mackenzie rivers break up.

“On the Liard River and on the Mackenzie River at Fort Simpson, water levels are rising under the ice, but the rates of increase are still small,” the NWT government reported on Tuesday.

“Most of the snowpack has melted in the lower Liard River basin. There are small patches of open water developing between Jean Marie River and Fort Simpson,” a territorial summary of conditions read.