NWT government prepares for flood season

After last year’s unprecedented flood season, we knew we needed to strengthen our cooperation at all levels: individual, community and governmental.Emily King, the director of public safety in charge of the Emergency Management Organization (EMO), says at a meeting on Tuesday.

Last spring, several communities had to evacuate their residents due to rising water levels. At Fort Simpson, 700 people had to leave their homes and about ten of them are now uninhabitable.

This year, Emily King says, the government reached out to community governments earlier than in the past.

She says the provincial government has stepped up work with them, and given advice, including how to prepare a flood preparedness kit. public information campaignbe ready) is also underway to provide residents with information on personal preparedness, flood risk and disaster relief.

Flood season is approaching and we all have a role to play in preparing for the next big flood. »

Quote from Emily King, Director of Public Security

It states that the communities of Fort Good Hope and Fort Simpson have recently contacted the regional government for supplies, through local emergency organizations (EMOs). The first requested cribs and blankets, and the second requested cribs.

Emily King notes that emergency response depends in part on the cooperation of people. This is why residents who live in high-risk areas who can find a place or stay in the event of an evacuation are encouraged.

She adds that local governments are preparing for their part. They are essential in providing advice, information and support to residents throughout the event.

In Fort Simpson, about 30 homes were damaged in the 2021 floods.

Photo: Radio Canada

Unpredictable flood season

Despite the preparation and monitoring of the waterways and ice pools, it is impossible to know what the flood season will look like in the Northwest Territories, says Nathan Richea, director of water management and monitoring.

According to him, all the difficulty of the situation comes from the fact that ice jams are extremely difficult to predict when they are the main cause of floods in the Northwest Territories. They can form in different places in streams and not be in the same place they were seen before.

He also explained that the modeling systems available to other provinces or territories are not particularly meaningful for the Northwest Territories, because they You don’t have to worry about ice crowding the way an area should be.

Nathan Richea explains, however, that the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs is in contact with partners, including glaciologists engineers who have access to satellite imagery to monitor what is happening and that they can advise based on this data.

We are always looking at how to improve our ability to look at current conditions and make better predictions.

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