NWT Water Monitoring Bulletin – May 16, 2023

News Type: 
Special Wildfire 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 water level on the Peel River rose rapidly yesterday;
    • Cabin owners along the Peel River and residents of Fort McPherson should be aware of the continued potential for high water and flooding;
    • The water level sensor and the camera at the hydrometric gauge on the Peel River have been impacted by ice and are not transmitting data or photographs;
    • Flooding of cabins on the banks of the Peel River has been reported;
    • There are reports that water levels may have dropped slightly overnight;
    • Satellite imagery from yesterday afternoon (14:00) showed open some open sections where the Peel River drains into the Mackenzie River Delta;
      • Subsequent water level rises on the Peel River will be dependent on how Peel and Mackenzie River ice packs into the Delta and where backwater is routed;
    • Temperatures in Fort McPherson today are forecast to be cooler than the past few days, but still warmer than normal;
      • Temperatures will rise again tomorrow, followed by rain forecast on Thursday;
      • This will bring additional snowmelt water from higher elevations down to the river and could continue to raise water levels if the ice jams prevent drainage into the Delta.
  • Ice on the Mackenzie River has moved past Fort Good Hope;
    • Water levels on the Mackenzie River at Fort Good Hope have been slowly receding and the flood risk for the community has been greatly diminished;
  • Ice on the Mackenzie River at Tsiigehtchic has pushed in from upstream;
  • Ice conditions have impacted many hydrometric gauges in the Beaufort Delta and little real-time information is currently available.