Hay River declares state of emergency, issues evacuation order

Breakup near Paradise Valley. (Image retrieved on the Town of Hay River's breakup webpage)

The Town of Hay River declared a state of emergency at 1:32 a.m. Saturday morning, in anticipation of flooding.

Half an hour later, the town issued an evacuation order for Vale Island/West Channel. Residents are asked to register at the community centre, by calling 833-699-0188, or using the online form.

The town issued an update about 11:30 a.m. Saturday saying the majority of ice hasn’t yet gone by the community and conditions are likely to get worse with heavy rain in northern Alberta and South Slave region.

It adds water levels are at “near historic levels for this period similar to 2021.” It’s also reporting local ice jams in the West and East channels.

On Sunday morning, the town posted an update, saying, “Sections of 100, 101, 102, and 103 streets sustained varying degrees of flooding. Water and ice had breached the banks along the Mackenzie Highway to the south of Porritt Landing Marina making it impassable for several hours. Water levels did subside slightly in the area which permitted for traffic off the island overnight. Conditions remained stable along the West Channel with flow relief occurring on the East Channel.”

Water levels are expected to continue to rise with ice jams and more precipitation.

The town will continue to update its breakup webpage and social media with new information.

Updated May 8, 11:45 a.m.

About the Author

Francis Tessier-Burns
Francis has been a general news reporter with CKLB since January 2019. Originally from rural Ontario, he first came to the NWT in 2016 as an intern with Up Here magazine and fell in love with the North. In his time with CKLB, he's had the immense pleasure and honour of learning about northern Indigenous cultures. Otherwise, you can find him hanging around the Legislative Assembly. If you have a story or want to chat, reach out to francis@cklbradio.com