Evacaution alert issued for Ross River properties threatened by Pelly River

Residents told to prepare to leave on one hour notice.

Crews sandbagging in Ross River on June 9. (Jesse Johnston and Tyler Porter/Submitted)

Crews sandbagging in Ross River on June 9. (Jesse Johnston and Tyler Porter/Submitted)

Portions of the community of Ross River have been placed on evacuation alert amid concerns created by the rising Pelly River. The Yukon government declared the alert for properties along the Canol Road between Sawmill Road and the Pelly River ferry landing on June 11. The alert notice states that other areas could be affected as time goes on.

Residents in the affected area were notified by incident staff that they should be prepared to leave within an hour if an evacuation is ordered.

The Canol Road has been closed to non-local traffic north of the Pelly Road. The government notice states there is heavy equipment working in the area. The government has also closed the pedestrian bridge in Ross River due to safety concerns and urged people to stay clear of it and the fast-flowing river below.

A government incident-management team is assisting the Ross River Dena Council with placing flood barriers and pumping water away from homes.

If an evacuation is ordered, the government is advising residents to have a plan in place. They are being advised to locate all their family members and have a safe meeting place selected, gather up important documents, medications and other items, move pets and livestock somewhere safe and arrange transportation and accommodations.

The weather forecast isn’t offering much relief with rain in the forecast for June 13 in the Ross River area and a likelihood of more over the next two days.

Ross River is not the only place in the territory being affected by high water. Flood watches are in effect for the Yukon River at Carmacks and for the Klondike River in the Klondike Valley near Dawson City. A flood warning remains in place for the Liard River at Upper Liard and there are also active high water and high streamflow advisories in place.

(Jim Elliot)