Residents of the Kátł’odeeche First Nation’s Old Village, Lower Village and Wolf Drive areas are being told to leave their homes and seek safety on higher ground.
An evacuation order for those areas was issued shortly before 9pm on Saturday, upgrading an evacuation alert that had been in place for the Old Village since late Friday.
Evacuees are instructed to register at the Dene Wellness Centre.
Around 30 evacuees had already left the Old Village as a precautionary measure by Saturday afternoon. In neighbouring Hay River, some 220 people have left homes on Vale Island that were subject to an evacuation order issued early on Saturday morning.
Officials say the risk of flooding remains high. Sirens rang out across the Kátł’odeeche First Nation on Saturday evening as the evacuation order was issued.
“Look at all this water, guys,” said Chief April Martel as she shared a series of live videos filmed across her community. “This is really bad.”
Those videos showed roads within the First Nation apparently being steadily consumed by water. Martel described herself shaking as she filmed the scene.
A rainfall warning remains in place for the Hay River region, and that rain is expected to become snow overnight.
Both the Town of Hay River and territorial government have warned that the unusual coincidence of heavy rain with the critical moments of breakup season may result in unpredictable consequences.
Water levels around the town have been fluctuating and officials say the risk of further flooding remains high.