Prepare for spring flooding, GNWT warns residents

A file photo shows Łutsël K'é bay on the East Arm of Great Slave Lake. Emily Blake/Cabin Radio

The territorial government is warning NWT residents to prepare for potential flooding this spring with rivers and streams still at unprecedented levels.  

In a news release on Tuesday, the GNWT said current data shows water flowing fast on the Slave, Tazin, and Taltson rivers, while water levels in Great Slave Lake are high for the time of year – conditions that lend themselves to flooding.

The territory stressed it is difficult to predict the likely impact come springtime. Factors include how much precipitation arrives in the coming weeks, the thickness of the ice, and when – and how quickly – that ice thaws.

“Existing winter water level and flow data in the Great Slave Lake basin suggests that the unprecedented high water is expected to continue, particularly in the South Slave region,” the territory’s news release stated.



“The GNWT will continue to monitor water levels throughout the NWT and update the public as new information develops.”

In the meantime, those who live or have cabins near water are being advised to prepare for potential flooding.

Valuables and equipment should be moved to a safe place, electrical components elevated or removed, and carpets, furniture and mattresses put where they won’t get wet.

Water levels and flow rates – the volume of water that is moving – in the NWT are tracked in real time on Environment and Climate Change Canada’s website.