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Environment
South Slave

Hay River’s Vale Island and West Channel ordered to evacuate

Last modified: May 7, 2022 at 6:53am


Hay River’s Vale Island and West Channel are being evacuated. An evacuation order was issued in the early hours of Saturday as the river’s water level rapidly rose.

Earlier, a flash flood alert was issued for the Kátł’odeeche First Nation’s Old Village as the Northwest Territories published its first flood warnings of the 2022 breakup season.

As of 6:30am on Saturday, an evacuation order applied to Vale Island but not the Old Village.

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The Town of Hay River issued the order to evacuate at 2am “due to a rapid rise of water levels on the Hay River and high risk of flooding.”

All residents should stay away from flooded areas of the community, the town said, and evacuees must register in person at the town’s community centre or by calling 1-833-699-0188.

The evacuation order came as a weather system moved across the South Slave, bringing significant quantities of rain and snow at a critical moment as the Hay River breaks and fast-moving ice reaches communities at the river’s mouth. The Hay River region was placed under a snowfall warning on Friday.

Chief April Martel of the Kátł’odeeche First Nation spent the night monitoring the river, describing slowly rising water levels in a series of Facebook live videos.

“Old Town back roads are flooded and all creeks are filled,” Martel wrote at 3am.

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More information for evacuees is available on the town’s website. Follow breakup updates for the NWT on our dedicated page. Emergency information is available on the GNWT’s public safety webpage.

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