NWT Emergency Response Update - May 19, 2023 - 17:00pm

Public Safety Bulletin

Communities remain lead on response activities. Territorial and Regional Emergency Management Organizations are fully activated and providing resources for planning, coordination, and support to community emergency management operations.

Current status - Rising water levels

Fort McPherson – Flood Watch

  • The community declared a State of Local Emergency on May 16 due to rising water levels.

  • The local EMO is activated and is meeting regularly with stakeholders.

  • Road access to the airport has re-opened.

  • Residential water tanks have been filled and tankers are full of water, if required.

  • Mental health services are available to residents through the health centre, and ongoing care for home care clients will continue.

  • Highway 8 is closed between km 72 and km 90 due to flooding.

Aklavik - Rising water levels

  • Water levels are being monitored.

  • As a precautionary measure, an evacuation centre has been set up in Inuvik in case it is needed.

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Current status - Wildfire response

Wildfire Status

Wildfires Recovery Pathfinder

A pathfinder is in place to support those affected by the 2023 Kátł’odeeche First Nation & Hay River Fire.

  • Phone: 867-445-3404. Leave a voicemail and your call will be returned.

  • Email: ian_legaree@gov.nt.ca 

Health Services for Evacuees

A Hay River family physician is currently in Yellowknife and has been designated to ensure access to urgent needs such as prescription refills for evacuees.

  • Call 867-767-9294 or 867-767-9125 for a phone consultation. Identify yourself as an evacuee so we can direct your calls appropriately.

    • We expect high call volumes for this service, so we ask all residents to have patience when calling.

  • For 24/7 non-urgent health advice and information, call 8-1-1 free-of-charge to speak to a registered nurse.

Information on Evacuated Clients/Patients

Anyone in care at the Hay River Health Centre, long-term care, and supported living clients in the evacuated communities have been evacuated successfully.

  • This includes anyone who was residing in Woodland Manor, SLS and Judith Fabian Group Home.

  • Individuals have been moved to facilities or hotels in a number of communities.

  • If you had loved ones in these health facilities who were relocated and you would like updates, reach out to the next-of-kin listed on your loved one’s file. Next of kin of any evacuated individuals in care are being contacted directly with updates.

Mental Health Services for Evacuees

Being evacuated from your home community is stressful; checking in with a mental health and counselling resource can help provide strategies, advice, and resources to deal with this difficult situation. Services available to evacuees include:

  • In Person Services at the Multiplex: Mental health workers are available from 9am to 9pm daily at the evacuation centre; including over the long weekend.

  • Virtual or Remote Supports: Contact the Yellowknife Community Counselling office for information on mental health services. Virtual services are available to people in Yellowknife or another community.

  • Yellowknife Community Counselling Office: Phone Counselling is available 8:30am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday. (867) 767-9110 ext. 3

The following supports are also available:

  • NWT Help Line: 1-800-661-0844
  • Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 Or text CONNECT to 686868
  • Wellness Together Canada: Adults: 1-866-585-0445, Youth: 1-888-668-6810
  • Canada Suicide Prevention Service: 1-833-456-4566
  • Hope For Wellness: 1-855-242-3310
  • Family Violence Crisis line: 1-866-223-7775

Evacuee Accommodations

Evacuation Reception Centre


    An Evacuation Reception Centre at the Yellowknife Multiplex has been established. Services include evacuee registration, cots, food service, and onsite first aid and mental health supports. Individuals can also get information at the reception centre about accessing health and social services and things like prescriptions.

    • Individuals who have evacuated to Yellowknife – whether they are staying at the reception centre or not - must register in person if they want to be on the list for current or future evacuee services or information updates.
    • For evacuees outside of Yellowknife, accommodations and associated costs for those evacuees are not covered by the GNWT. 
    • For evacuees outside of Yellowknife looking for additional accommodation options and support for associated costs, check with your Community Government.

Camping for Evacuees

Campsites may be available at the Fort Providence, Lady Evelyn and Fred Henne Parks. Please call the parks directly to inquire about availability:

  • Fort Providence Park Operator: 867-669-3618
  • Lady Evelyn Park Operator: 867-825-2267
  • Fred Henne Park Operator: 867-920-2472  

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Evacuation orders

  • Evacuation orders are in-place for the entire Town of Hay River and Kátł’odeeche First Nation. Everyone must leave. 
  • An Evacuation Centre has been established at the Yellowknife Multiplex. You must register upon arrival at the Yellowknife Multiplex.

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Actions today

Emergency Management Organization (EMO) Activation:

  • The Territorial, South Slave, North Slave, and Beaufort Delta Emergency Management Organizations (EMO) have been activated.
  • The South Slave REMO and Territorial EMO is in regular communication with and providing ongoing support to the communities of Hay River and the Kátł’odeeche First Nation for wildfires.
  • The Beaufort Delta REMO is in regular communication with the local EMO of Ft. McPherson and Aklavik.

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Priorities for operations tomorrow

  • Continued accommodating of evacuees at the Evacuation Centre in Yellowknife.
  • Continued monitoring of wildfire to assure safety of evacuees.
  • Continued assistance to the Town of Hay River, Kátł’odeeche First Nation and partner agencies in response.
  • Continued monitoring of water levels in Aklavik.

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Staying safe in an emergency

The emergency response underway in K'atl'odeeche and Hay River is a rapidly changing situation.

Key messages for today are:

For the latest, most accurate emergency information, continue checking for updates with your local community government and visit www.gov.nt.ca/public-safety.

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Donations and helping out

Many people are asking how they can help support Hay River and Kátł’odeeche evacuees.  Here is some information on donations.

  • Monetary donations are being accepted by United Way NWT: https://nwt.unitedway.ca/fires/ 
  • Gift cards are accepted at the Yellowknife Evacuation Centre at the Multiplex; however financial donations to United Way serve a similar purpose and are easier to coordinate for those delivering services at the Evacuation Centre.
  • Physical goods can be dropped at the Yellowknife Salvation Army Thrift Shop and labeled: Fire Relief.
  • Food: at the current time we are not accepting donations of food at the evacuation reception centre (Yellowknife Multiplex). 

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More information