NWT Water Monitoring Bulletin – May 09, 2022

News Type: 
Water monitoring bulletin

The Government of the Northwest Territories maintains water monitoring stations across the territory to keep track of water levels and flow rates in areas of potential flood risk for communities.

This information is provided regularly to territorial and regional emergency managers to help understand the status of waterways across the NWT in the lead-up to, and during spring break-up – the highest-risk period for floods in the Northwest Territories.

Technical data

Current status - NWT

  • The Town of Hay River and K'atl'odeeche First Nation have issued Evacuation Orders and Alerts for certain areas;
  • Provisional water levels recorded at the Hay River near Hay River gauge are higher than the peak from last year;
    • All tributaries to the Hay River are recording water levels higher than the ice-induced peak from last week;
  • Snowfall warnings have been issued for Hay River again today with snowfall expected to slow down by mid-afternoon;
  • The potential for further/continued flooding remains high as ice remains present on the river;
    • Additional water will move down the Hay River and its tributaries when this recent snowfall begins to melt;
  • Ice on the Liard River is moving in sections of the Liard River, and moved at the Fort Simpson ferry crossing as of this morning;
  • The Dehcho (Mackenzie River) shifted about 50-100 m at Fort Simpson last night but is stationary as of 12:00 today.

Hay River

Current status

  • According to the camera located at the border with Alberta, there has not been additional ice seen coming from Alberta for 36 hours;
  • The storm system appears to be tapering off. There will be approximately 2-5 cm of additional snow this afternoon, but it should recede by this afternoon;
    • A snowfall warning remains in effect for the Hay River region on Monday.
  • Hay River tributaries have shown rapid rises over the past 48 hours. In some cases, these rises have subsided, but there will most likely be another pulse of water as recent snowfall over the basin melts;
  • The water level response on the Hay River and its tributaries to precipitation is very rapid at this time of year due to low basin storage and frozen ground;
  • Refer to the Town of Hay River website for the most up-to-date information, as well as webcam images of current conditions.

Above – Hay River near the border hydrometric gauge photo on May 09 at 11:00. Photo courtesy of Water Survey of Canada and GNWT.

Liard river

Current status

  • Ice moved at the Liard River near the mouth (Fort Simpson ferry crossing) as of 09:00 this morning;
  • There have been reports of ice moving near Fort Liard and Nahanni Butte.

Above – Liard River near the mouth hydrometric gauge photo from May 09 at 10:00. Photo courtesy of Water Survey of Canada and GNWT.

Slave River/Great Slave Lake/Dehcho (Mackenzie River)

Current status

  • Break up is progressing along the Peace River and the Slave River;
    • There have been reports of an ice jam on the Slave River at km 10 as of May 06;
  • Ice moved locally on the Dehcho (Mackenzie River) at Fort Providence, and on the Mackenzie River (between Jean Marie River and Fort Simpson);
  • Ice on the Dehcho near Fort Simpson moved approximately 50-100 m last night but is stationary as of today at 12:00;
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada has forecast cloudy conditions with below normal temperatures until Wednesday in the Dehcho.

Above – Dehcho (Mackenzie River) at Strong Point hydrometric gauge photo from May 09 at 11:00. Photo courtesy of Water Survey of Canada and GNWT.