Residents in Enterprise worked quickly to help thousands of people fleeing Hay River and the Kátł’odeeche First Nation in the middle of the night.
Around 4,000 residents were ordered to evacuate both communities late on Wednesday following unprecedented flooding in the region. Chief April Martel advised people to head for the nearby community of Enterprise and buses helped to transport those without vehicles.
Enterprise Mayor Michael St Amour told Cabin Radio a steady stream of people, vehicles and pets began arriving around midnight.
The hamlet gas station and convenience store opened to travellers while the community centre, around 20 households, and two empty staff houses opened their doors to offer people places to stay.
“It was a rough night for everyone,” said St Amour, who was heading to bed around noon on Thursday.
St Amour said the owner of Super A Foods in Hay River provided bedding and food, while many residents in Enterprise have been volunteering to help those affected by flooding.
St Amour said around 150 evacuees were still in the community on Thursday afternoon, not including those staying in campers or vehicles at Twin Falls Territorial Park.
He said many other people had headed on to Yellowknife, where the city’s multiplex has been set up to welcome evacuees and animal organizations are offering to help shelter pets.