Dempster Highway closes, Mackenzie delta at ‘near-record’ levels

The Dempster Highway closed on Monday as the NWT government said water levels in some areas of the Mackenzie delta were “nearing record highs.”

On Sunday, the territory’s hydrologists said conditions in the delta were “extremely dynamic.” In an update, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources told Aklavik residents to “maintain close watch.”

“Riverside locations in Inuvik are seeing higher than normal water levels,” ENR stated. Residents in the town reported water submerging sections of some low-lying roads by the river.


By Monday, ENR said water levels in Inuvik were around 35 centimetres higher than the historic daily maximum and water levels continued to “steadily rise” throughout the delta. Ice remains jammed in several locations.

On Monday morning, the GNWT’s Department of Infrastructure tweeted that Highway 8, the Dempster Highway, was closed from kilometre 143.6 to kilometre 251 due to flooding.

That hundred-kilometre span of highway stretches between Tsiigehtchic and Inuvik.