Historic 2021 spring flood’s price tag at $40M

An aerial view of the flooding in Fort Simpson. (Photo courtesy of Hilda Gerlock.)

An aerial view of the flooding at Fort Simpson on in May 2021. (CKLB file photo.)

An outside review of the territory’s response to historic 2021 spring flooding in the Dehcho and South Slave has found 22 areas in need of improvement.
The 2021 Flood After-Action Review Report was released today by Municipal and Community Affairs, after several delays, which stated total cost of the natural distaster and subsequent recovery to date are estimated at over $40 million.
The Ottawa-based consultant also suggested the expertise of traditional knowledge keepers should be drawn upon by Community Government EMOs.
The recommendations largely call for improvement in training, logistics and communications.

Flooding left large pieces of ice strewn around town. (CKLB file photo)

Residents in flood-prone areas in flood-prone areas that have seen flooding historically could also be involved in regional and community mock and tabletop excercise events to work out any kinks in the plans.

“Consider conducting an enhanced public information campaign on personal preparedness prior to flood season each year,” reads the report.
“This should include information on flood risk, personal planning requirements and how to build an emergency kit.”
As for the people called upon to work through the natural disasters? The report says to consider what measures can be taken to ease the stress on workers and
incorporate them into emergency operational protocols where appropriate.
“This may include specialized services from health care professionals, and/or access to mental health support as required.”
The report also suggests, “reviewing and updating evacuation and hosting plans and guidelines with protocols specific to supporting evacuees with mental health and addiction issues.”
The NWT experienced its worst flood season on record during the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This flooding from ice jams impacted Hay River, Jean Marie River, Fort Simpson, Fort Good Hope, Aklavik and Fort Resolution resulting in damages to approximately 100 homes, 30 small businesses, six NGOs and community infrastructure.
It also required the evacuation or partial evacuation of hundreds of residents from most of the impacted communities due to flooding or the high risk of flooding.

About the Author

James O'Connor
James O’Connor joined CKLB 101.9 FM at the start of 2024, after working as a journalist, photo editor and managing editor at newspapers in Manitoba and the Northwest Territories. James also has experience in politics, arts, service clubs and the NWT’s non-profit sector. At this point in his lengthy career, James is thrilled to be working at such a unique media outlet and always welcomes notes from listeners at: james.oconnor@cklbradio.com.