Sécurité publique - Public Safety

NWT Flood Response Update: May 15, 2022, 17:00pm

Public Safety Bulletin

Unprecedented flooding Is currently affecting thousands of residents in the Northwest Territories.

Current status

Water levels and flow

Hay River and Kátł’odeeche First Nation

The Town of Hay River will announce a detailed re-entry plan this evening.

Keep in mind, parts of both communities remain unsafe to return to. Damage has occurred to critical infrastructure and basic services may be unavailable in some areas. Returning too early may cause challenges for recovery and response workers.  

Communities remain lead on response activities.

Territorial and Regional Emergency Management Organizations are fully activated and providing resources for planning, coordination, and emergency management operations.

These updates are shared to amplify the latest information.

Contact the Town of Hay River or Kátł’odeeche First Nation for the latest updates on-the-ground,

Highway 1

  • Currently closed from the Alberta/NWT border to Enterprise and between km 188 and 238.

Evacuation centre update

Evacuation centres

Official hosting communities

Communities offering help to evacuees

  • Hay River Community Centre
  • Yellowknife Multiplex
    • 625 total evacuees registered
      • 106 staying at reception centre
      • 448 elsewhere


  • Fort Smith
    • 85 evacuees
  • Enterprise
    • 107 evacuees
  • Fort Providence
    • 87 evacuees
  • Fort Resolution
  • Fort Simpson


  • No matter where you’ve chosen to go or are planning on staying, all Hay River residents should register by calling 1-833-699-0188 or visiting an evacuation centre. 
  • The airport is open for emergency services. Paved runway remains closed.
  • Highway 2 open to emergency traffic only.
  • Highway 5 is open.
  • A boil water advisory remains in Hay River, Enterprise, Kakisa and Kátł’odeeche First Nation.
  • Some fuel spills have been reported in the area. Assessments are beginning as part of overall damage assessments. Some areas remain inaccessible.

Sambaa K’e

  • Localized flooding was reported by the community late in the day due to rising water in the lake. The Dehcho EMO is in contact with the community.

Fort Liard

  • Reports have been received of seven homes impacted by localized flooding in Fort Liard, with some fuel spills reported and seven individuals displaced.
  • Damage assessments are being coordinated by the GNWT with the Hamlet.

Jean Marie River

  • Flooding remains a risk in Jean Marie River. The Territorial government stands ready to assist where necessary.

Rest of NWT

Flood risk remains in other areas downstream on the Mackenzie River.

There are some communities at higher risk than others in any break-up year still facing flood risk.

  • Nahanni Butte (South Nahanni River, Liard River)
  • Fort Liard (Liard River)
  • Aklavik (Mackenzie River)
  • Fort Good Hope (Mackenzie River)
  • Tulita (Mackenzie River)
  • Jean Marie River (Mackenzie River)

Territorial government is in regular contact with all emergency management organizations in flood risk communities and stand ready to assist.

It’s not too late to take some actions to be ready before the water comes.

Actions today

Highway 1

  • Staff from GNWT working to get the highway re-opened and deal with flooding.

Hay River and K’at’lodeeche First Nation

  • Continuing to coordinate transportation for evacuees – including planning and getting resources in-place for transportation for return to home communities.
  • Continued damage assessments.
  • Food, accommodations, information, and supplies to support evacuees are being coordinated by the Town of Hay River, K’at’lodeeche First Nation and the territorial government.
  • GNWT staff are coming forward from across government to volunteer to provide help with the flood response.

Sambaa K’e


  • Territorial officials are working with the community to investigate current situation.

Fort Liard

  • A request for assistance has been received to assist the Hamlet in responding to the needs of seven individuals affected by localized flooding. We will be coordinating a damage assessment with the Hamlet.  

Jean Marie River

  • Regional emergency officials are in regular contact with the community’s emergency management team and monitoring conditions.

Upcoming priorities for operations

Hay River and Kátł’odeeche First Nation

  • Deploying water and sewer specialists to Hay River to assist the Town – targeted Monday.
  • Deploying pathfinders to the Hay River and  Kátł’odeeche First Nation to assist with disaster assistance applications as soon as possible.   
  • Addressing critical infrastructure issues.
  • Preliminary damage assessments of territorial infrastructure and environmental damage – including fuel spills.
  • Comprehensive damage assessments to be completed in each community.
  • Ensuring capacity remains manageable at evacuation centres.
  • Get the Hay River airport running at full capacity once again.
  • Continued accommodating of evacuees at evacuation centres.

Fort Liard

  • Work with community to assist flood-impacted residents.
  • Assess damage to territorial infrastructure.

Jean Marie River

  • Preparing to assist if required – though risk is believed to be resolving.

Returning home

Returning to home communities is coming very soon for some. Even if you are one of the early returnees, it is possible that your house may not currently be habitable.

Some may need to wait to go back based on the extent of damage.

Please – be patient. Many responders are in the same position – and all of them are working as hard as they can to make sure the communities are safe for folks.

Here are some checklists to help you plan for a safe return:

Key messages for staying safe

We know there is fear and anxiety out there right now. And that’s totally natural. The best way to channel that anxiety is to take steps to control your risk. The key messages today are:

  • Just because you’re going to be allowed back in town: just six inches of water can sweep a full-grown adult away. Please – avoid crossing flooded areas. Instead, call 9-1-1 and seek help.
  • Wherever you are, contact your community government: ensuring evacuees are safe is the priority in an emergency.
  • Get to safety: follow instructions from local officials.
  • If you’re in trouble: find higher ground and call 9-1-1.
  • Conserve your cell phone battery: communication is critical right now.

Donations, helping out, and helpful local links

When trouble comes, Northerners come together. And that’s amazing – but donation overrun can be problematic. Here are the ways we’re recommending you donate and help out:

More information