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NWT working to keep essential goods flowing to communities

Supply trucks outside Yellowknife's Independent grocery store and Shoppers Drug Mart in April 2020
Supply trucks outside Yellowknife's Independent grocery store and Shoppers Drug Mart in April 2020. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio


While several evacuated Northwest Territories communities remain closed to incoming traffic, officials say work is under way to ensure essential goods continue flowing north.

Yellowknife, in particular, serves as a central distribution point for both passengers and freight to many of the territory’s communities, but has been under an evacuation order since Wednesday.

Virtually all scheduled flights that rely on Yellowknife Airport had ceased by the end of Friday.

Fort Resolution is a community ordinarily reliant on Yellowknife for supplies.



Shane Thompson, the territory’s community affairs minister, told reporters during a Saturday briefing that leaders in Fort Resolution had arranged for groceries to be supplied from the Northern Store in Winnipeg. He said food and fuel were expected to arrive in the community by Monday.

Air Tindi continues to fly goods into Wekweètì, Whatì, Gamètì and Łútsël K’é, the minister said.

“We are working with them to transport food in. We are making sure that the trucks are there,” Thompson said.

He said the territory is also working on contingency plans if roads are closed.

Road access into Yellowknife is closed to the public. Simpson said officials are working to get food into the city for essential workers as well as other communities that need it.

Fort Smith, Hay River, Kátł’odeeche First Nation, Enterprise, Jean Marie River, Kakisa, Yellowknife, Ndılǫ, Dettah and surrounding areas are all under evacuation orders. Leaders have said it is not safe to return to any of the communities as wildfires continue to burn.