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The ‘phased reopening plan’ for the Hay River is expected this weekend




Residents eager to return home to Hay River, NWT, may not be able to do so yet, but the city says a “phased reopening plan” is expected this weekend.

The worst of the flood has passed, but the city is not yet ready for residents to return.

In an update Saturday, the city said recovery workers are still the only people allowed in the community and that the presence of other residents would be “detrimental to our recovery efforts”.

About 3,800 Hay River residents were ordered to leave their community Wednesday night when floodwaters flooded downtown.

On Saturday, some parts of the community were still inaccessible, and some water and sewer systems were damaged.

The city is currently under a boiling water council.

An elevator station on the Hay River has been submerged in flood waters. The senior administrative official of Hay River said on Saturday that a major concern now is flooding around an elevator station that handles a storm sewer system for about 70 percent of the city’s population. (Hay River City)

Glenn Smith, Hay River’s chief administrative officer, told the CBC on Saturday morning that water has dropped significantly since the river’s ice melted, but risks such as power lines crashing and impassable roads remain.

Smith said a major concern now is flooding around an elevator station that handles a storm sewer system for about 70 percent of the city’s population.

“You may be in an area where it looks like your sewer is working, things are leaking through your canals, but that is adding to the problem on the Riverview side,” he said.

“Having more people in the community now can negatively affect … your neighbors.”

Smith said workers are making progress and once the city has better control over the elevator station infrastructure, it will start allowing residents to return home.

“[We] I really appreciate your patience, “he said, as he expressed his appreciation for the communities of Fort Smith, Enterprise and Yellowknife, which have received those displaced by the floods.

The Hay River status update on Saturday was broken down by city area.

Satellite images show the difference between water levels around Vale Island on May 5 and 12. (Source: Sentinel Hub EO Browser / ESA)

Vale Island

There are risks of more flooding in the Lakeshore Drive and West Channel areas on Saturday, and nearly half a mile of the highway is closed, according to the city update.

There is no power at Old Town and the West Channel. Crews are set to begin replacing the fallen pillars this weekend.

The city is also warning of displaced and leaking propane reservoirs.

Meanwhile, the main runway of the airport is closed due to ice. The gravel track is open.

Area 553, Two Seasons and Castaways, downtown

Elevator stations in area 553 are working and the power is on, with the exception of some properties at Cranberry Crescent, the city said.

Two Seasons and Castaways have no power and no access to the road.

The city said the area from McRorie Drive to the West Channel Bridge has no sewer service now and residents will not be allowed to return until that service is restored.

“It is critical that the residents of this area understand that any polluted water added to this system is accumulating in the gorge,” the update said.

“The extra fluid added will increase the recovery time.”

Anyone in the area is kindly requested not to use the sewer services and to contact the registration center for details on temporary toilet facilities.

The power distribution service is available, except for downtown transformers, which are being evaluated today, the city said.

Riverview Drive and Gaetz Drive also do not have road access.

All infrastructure is running from McRorie Drive south to Mile 5.

Corridor area

The road to the Gardens of Paradise is closed.

The power is on, but can be turned off at any time to allow an electrical inspection.

The city is encouraging drivers in the Hay River area to check government website for updated road conditions.

Anyone interested in volunteering to clean up can call Hay River Volunteer Coordinator Jill Morse at 867-876-0735.

The Canadian Red Cross helps evacuees

The Canadian Red Cross is now assisting the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority to support the evacuees.

In a Facebook post Friday night, Health and Social Services Minister Julie Green encouraged people who want to help donate small cards to the gas, grocery store Independent or Walmart.

“Many people are left with only what they were wearing and need gas to go home when the time comes,” she wrote.

The army had not been called into town until Friday evening.

Mike Westwick, a spokesman for the Territorial Emergency Management Organization, said Friday that the NWT government is in regular contact with the town of Hay River and the neighboring Kt’odeeche First Nation Reserve, and is ready to seek help from the Canadian Armed Forces. if communities ask for it.

Westwick added that residents of the Whispering Willows and Riverview Lodge nursing homes were temporarily relocated to the Hay River Regional Center, which was not threatened by flooding.

Also until Friday evening, there were no missing or dead persons as a result of the floods.

“It’s a testament to all the hard work done by Hay River City and all the dedicated field emergency responders,” Westwick said.

Destruction ‘widespread and extreme’

It’s too early to put a lot of dollars into the damage done, but Westwick said the devastation is “widespread and extreme”.

“What we do know is that in living memory, there has been no flooding on this scale. It is unprecedented, the areas that have been flooded around the Hay River,” he said.

“What’s a good thing to take away from this is that our communities are incredibly resilient. The emergency response has been very strong and we, as a team in general and from the city leading the way, have faced this challenge. until now.”




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