Fort McPherson requests either more help or evacuation

The Hamlet of Fort McPherson says major assistance is urgently needed as access to both drinking water and the community’s sewage site remains cut off.

The Peel River has been overflowing into Fort McPherson’s low-lying areas. While water levels are dropping, the highway to the hamlet’s trucked water source and road to its waste facilities are underwater.

In a letter posted to Facebook on Thursday, hamlet senior administrator Susan Blake said: “To lessen the burden we are facing and going to face, we will need to have some of our residents moved to Inuvik or receive a lot of help.”


The federal New Democratic Party said leader Jagmeet Singh is due to speak with Fort McPherson’s community leadership on Friday afternoon, followed by a call between Singh and NWT Premier Caroline Cochrane.

Singh’s party said he wants to discuss “how the NDP can push the federal government to assist with the ongoing flooding and fires across the territory.”

In her letter, Blake set out examples showing that the hamlet will soon run into trouble with nowhere to empty residents’ sewage tanks. She said some tanks may overflow and others have sensors that automatically shut off water use, leading to “very unhappy people.”

Garbage can’t be taken to the solid waste facility so is being stored in the curling rink – the “coldest place available,” Blake wrote – alongside honeybuckets.

Listing the problems Fort McPherson faces, Blake said the flooding means there is also no food supply coming into the community and heating fuel is inaccessible. The roads, she said, continue to be damaged with no assessment of the repairs required.


Blake said the letter had been sent to territorial authorities in Inuvik and Yellowknife.

“I hope this helps for people to understand the dilemma which are currently facing, and the dilemmas we are going to face,” she wrote.