Two women were rescued in dramatic circumstances as a flash flood devastated a home outside Enterprise in the NWT’s South Slave.
Kathy Beaupré and housemate Barb Hart were reportedly brought to safety from their roof in a Sunday operation that involved Hay River’s fire department, RCMP and the Canadian Coast Guard.
Friends and family members, who have created a GoFundMe page to help, said on that page an eight-dog sledding team, four pet dogs, four lizards, and two snakes are “all assumed lost,” as are vehicles and the house itself, known as the Fox Farm, some 10 km from Enterprise.
Beaupré is in a stable condition and healing in the company of friends and family, Hay River resident Édith Vachon-Raymond said on Monday.
Vachon-Raymond asked for those affected to be given time to rest and heal, directing concerned residents to the GoFundMe page. “The best way to help is to donate and to keep her in your thoughts,” she said.
Floodwater is understood to have struck the property so quickly that the occupants barely had time to reach for shoes. The road leading to the home was reported to have partially washed away, so the rescue operation relied on boats and a side-by-side.
“At this point in time, anything will help with food, clothes, essentials and just peace of mind,” Beaupré’s son wrote on GoFundMe.
“I would like to thank all of the emergency services that helped with the rescuing of my mom and Barb. Without you guys, they wouldn’t be here right now.”
Monday drone footage shot by Aaron Tambour above the Paradise Gardens area, south of Hay River, showed the sheer scale of the devastation wrought by the flooding.
Water levels are far higher in some areas than in recent breakup seasons, and torrents of water can be seen gushing around the roofs of houses.
Vachon-Raymond herself had to abandon her Vale Island home at the north end of Hay River, where an evacuation order has been in place since Saturday.
She described fighting water up to her waist in a bid to reach her home before turning back. Her pets, stranded at the property, are being cared for by a neighbour whose home lies on higher ground.
“The highway is washed out,” Vachon-Raymond said.
“I have friends with wetsuits and a canoe, but it’s too dangerous. The last thing we want is people dying.”