River ‘thick, flowing and really fast’: Fort Good Hope expands evacuation order

Power has been turned off in flood zones.

Aerial footage of the flooding in Fort Good Hope. (Photo courtesy of Quentin Tatchinron)

Flooding has devastated the NWT for weeks.

As spring break up continues, the community of Fort Good Hope is now preparing to evacuate residents in zone two on the south side of town.

The community’s emergency plan identifies four zones corresponding to different water levels. Zone one is affected when water levels reach 12 to 15 meters, while zone two is between 15 and 17 meters.

Fifteen residents have been evacuated from zone one; it’s unclear how many residents from zone two have been affected so far.

This is according to Arthur Tobac, emergency communications officer.

“There’s one house that has the water right up to the windows and warehouses underwater.”

“The ice is still flowing,” he says. “We’re concerned that if (water levels) jump up really hard downriver, it will continue rising and ice will get into the middle of town damaging  infrastructure.”

Luckily, preparations began weeks ago, he said.

Around 7:30 p.m. yesterday evening, he said the breakup “was thick, flowing and really fast.”

About 4:30 a.m. a siren alerted residents that the creek had overtaken the road beside it.

At 10 a.m. a state of emergency was announced.

Affected homes had their power cut at 3 p.m. today.

Doug Prendergast is the communications officer for Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC).

“NTPC has disconnected some meters in low-lying areas in order to keep residents safe, protect equipment and maintain power to customers in higher areas. We will continue to monitor the situation closely,”

Tobac says they haven’t experienced anything like this since 2005.

“There’s more ice this time around,” he says.

Daily updates will be posted on the Fort Good Hope Facebook page and broadcasted on the local community radio station.

About the Author

Mariah Caruso
Mariah Caruso is a digital journalist, originally from Toronto, Canada. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Hons. Bachelor of Arts and completed her Journalism post-grad at Sheridan College. She has an insatiable appetite for life, storytelling, connecting to the people, and getting to the heart of the issue. Mariah is excited to begin her journey and career in Yellowknife, NWT, and get involved with the community. If you have a story idea, feel free to send her an email at mariah.caruso@cklbradio.com or call 867-766-2552 Ext 108