Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

WATER INVADES ROAD – Flooding is seen Saturday on Sawmill Road by the Lewes River Bridge south of Whitehorse.

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

MINISTERIAL ASSISTANCE – Dario Paola (left) and Community Services Minister Richard Mostyn (right) move sandbags in the South McClintock area on Sunday. Mostyn was visiting area residents and lending a helping hand where he could.

Ottawa agrees to military staying here longer

A contingent of Canadian soldiers will stay on in the territory for up to another two weeks to help stave off flooding.

By Whitehorse Star on July 19, 2021

A contingent of Canadian soldiers will stay on in the territory for up to another two weeks to help stave off flooding.

Meanwhile, the flooding situation in Lake Laberge and the Southern Lakes seems to have stabilized for the moment.

“This weekend, I received confirmation Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair approved our request for an extension of the Canadian Armed Forces’ support for the Yukon,” Community Services Minister Richard Mosatyn wrote on Facebook this morning.

“The soldiers supporting our flood-relief effort were scheduled to return home today, but more berms, dykes and sandbags are needed to protect Yukon infrastructure and homes.

“With up to another two weeks in the deployment, we are confident we will stave off the worst of this unprecedented climate-change-caused natural disaster,” Mostyn added.

Echo Ross, an information officer with the Department of Community Services, said in in an update on Sunday, “Of note, water levels continue to slowly drop in Southern Lakes and have now stabilized in Lake Laberge.”

On Saturday, Ross said in another update “flood warnings are being maintained for Southern Lakes and Lake Laberge. New information boards have been installed at the nine sandbagging stations available to residents, and property owners can now sign up for volunteer assistance.”

On Saturday, John Streicker, the Liberal MLA for the Marsh Lake area, posted on Facebook that “Lake Laberge and Atlin possibly peaked today.

“Laberge is now 44 cm above previous record set in 2007! If we get significant rain or heat, the lakes can rise higher still. Thanks again to the crews, residents and volunteers working hard to keep people and homes safe!”

Ross reported this morning that water levels on the Southern Lakes and Lake Laberge have dropped toward the peak levels of the 2007 flood. 

Bennett Lake is 10.5 cm over that level. Tagish Lake is 4.9 cm. Marsh Lake s 15.1 cm.

Lake Laberge is still by far the highest at 40.6 cm over the 2007 peak. Its level has dropped by nearly two centimetres in the last day.

Longtime Shallow Bay Road residents Florian and Andrea Lemphers were ordered to evacuate their water-surrounded home early last week.

The Southern Lakes are dropping from between 1.8 and 0.2 centimetres.

Comments (2)

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Connor Firth on Jul 20, 2021 at 4:52 pm

I had to laugh when this photo of Mostyn was taken. 1 week after being told by the government that we were on our own and that there were no more resources for us, Mostyn shows up with photographer in tow to help us unload a single pallet for a photo opt and leaves.
Richard, if you really want to help, I would recommend you start by looking for some new hydrologists/climate analyst or someone who actually knows this water system, because your current "experts" don't seem to get something as basic as "Lots of snow + Warm weather = Lots of water".

They were telling everyone as recently as the second week of June that it wasn't going to flood, and it would be well below the 2007 levels! This influenced and delayed the government response by months! Now this over-reaction is necessary and will cost substantially more money and effort then if someone would have just said that flooding was a possibility. We could have started sandbagging ourselves back in April and May.

Everyone should have known that flooding could occur this year. Those concerns were all tempered and put at ease by professionals who claim to be more knowledgeable, with allegedly accurate models and forecasts. These estimates were off by such a laughable margin that I am left wondering if it is because of incompetence or negligence. While I agree that this is unprecedented, it should not have been unpredictable.

Up 21 Down 11

bonanzajoe on Jul 19, 2021 at 8:57 pm

It's a shame that the Military has to do such a job as fill sandbags when there are so many lazy useless healthy individuals on welfare who spend their entire days and nights drinking drugging and committing mischief, when they could be made to do some of this common labor work to save their community. When I was growing up, they were made to work. Of course there weren't as many per capita as today, but then the new age Human Rights organizations put a stop to that policy. To the detriment of the nation.

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