Premier Caroline Cochrane and Municipal and Community Affairs Minister, Paulie Chinna issued the below statement on the flooding situation in Aklavik and the Government of the Northwest Territories response:
“The community of Aklavik declared a State of Local Emergency in the early hours of May 30th and began an official evacuation of 141 residents earlier this morning in addition to 25 residents evacuated earlier as a result of flood waters breaching the banks of the Mackenzie River.
“Like in any emergency, officials with the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) are working with the local leadership to ensure the safety of all residents. This is their top priority at this time.
“In anticipation of the flooding, more than two dozen home care residents and elders were evacuated from the community to Inuvik on Friday May 28th. Aurora College has provided accommodations to a number of these residents, while others are staying with family and friends in Inuvik.
“Residents are being evacuated by planes from both Aklak Air and North-Wright Airways. Officials with the Emergency Management Organization (EMO) are continuing to monitor the situation on the ground closely.
“The Inuvik Region EMO has been working closely with the Community of Aklavik to support the movement of evacuees to Inuvik. They are also working with the Town of Inuvik and regional partners to put evacuation arrangements in place to host evacuees. The territorial EMO has been supporting the Regional EMO with resources as required.
“Arrangements have been made to house evacuees at the Midnight Sun Complex in Inuvik, with 50 cots set up and the capacity for 50 more if needed, and the Town of Inuvik will be supporting efforts to provide food to evacuees.
“As river break-up and the flooding risk continues to change rapidly it is still too early to speculate on potential damages or recovery requirements. The GNWT is closely monitoring the situation and will be addressing these issues as quickly as possible when it is safe and possible to do so.
“This is a difficult and challenging time for everyone in Akalvik right now. As residents did with the flooding in Jean Marie River, Fort Good Hope and Fort Simpson earlier this month, we hope that everyone will come together and support those impacted.”