Nunavut Post

Thursday, February 29, 2024

‘Phased re-opening plan’ for Hay River anticipated this weekend


Key takeaways: 

  • Citizens were still being told to stay out of the neighborhood on Saturday.
  • On May 12, water still flooded some streets in Hay River, N.W.T. 
  • The town is still requesting citizens to stay away while considering the damage and trying to restore energy, water, and sewer services. 

Citizens keen to return home to Hay River, N.W.T., can’t do so yet, but the village states a “phased re-opening plan” is predicted this weekend.

The most destructive flooding has passed, but the town still isn’t prepared for citizens to return.

In an update on Saturday, the town said rescue workers are still the only individuals authorized into the community. The company of other subjects would be “dangerous to our recovery effort.” 

The about 3,800 citizens of Hay River were ordered to flee their community Wednesday evening when floodwaters moved into the downtown core.

Some community areas were still inaccessible on Saturday, and some water and sewer systems were down.

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The most destructive flooding has passed, but the town still isn’t prepared for citizens to return

The town is presently under a boil water advisory.

Glenn Smith, Hay River’s senior administrative officer, described C.B.C. Saturday morning that the water had significantly reduced since river ice broke up. Still, hazards like downed power lines and impassable streets remain. 

Smith said a significant problem is flooding around a lift station that carries a storm sewer system for approximately 70 percent of the town’s population.

“You might be in a space where it seems that your sewer is working, things are draining through your drains, but it’s adding to the issue on the Riverview flank,” he said. “Having more individuals in the community right now can negatively affect … your neighbors.”

Smith said workers are making improvements, and once the town gets a better grip on its lift station infrastructure, it will start allowing citizens to return home. 

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