Teslin Lake is of two bodies of water the Yukon Government has placed on a high water advisory. (Google Maps Image)

Teslin Lake is of two bodies of water the Yukon Government has placed on a high water advisory. (Google Maps Image)

Flood warning issued for Ross River area of Pelly River

Sharp rise noted in some areas as high water and streamflow advisories are issued

Territorial authorities are warning of high water, high streamflow and the risk of flooding in a few different waterbodies in the Yukon.

As per notices issued by the Yukon government on June 6 and 7, there is a high water advisory in place for Teslin Lake, high streamflow advisories for the Yukon River at Carmacks and the Klondike River. A flood watch is in effect for the Liard River and its tributaries and there is also a flood warning in place for the Pelly River at Ross River.

The level of advisory in place for Teslin Lake means that water levels are rising rapidly or expected to rise rapidly but no major flooding is expected. The government bulletin noted an 18-centimetre rise in the lake’s level within the past 24 hours. The rise is expected to continue as high-elevation snow melts and runs off. A rise of another 1.25 metres is expected over the next week.

The Yukon River a Carmacks is above its two-year return period with water level rising 16 cm over the past 24 hours. The forecast notes the water is expected to rise more than a metre over the next week but the Carmacks area will be spared the worst of the rain showers predicted for much of the rest of the territory. No major flooding is expected as of yet.

A similar situation is unfolding in the Klondike Valley where water levels on the Klondike River above Bonanza Creek rose 9 cm in 24 hours due to ongoing snowmelt coupled with fresh rainfall. A June 7 notice from the government states that the water level remains 20-30 cm below the level that would cause minor flooding in the Rock Creek area.

The Liard River and its tributaries are under flood watch meaning that the rising water may reach or exceed riverbanks. Areas adjacent to the river may flood. The Liard has risen 31 cm in the past 24 hours and it is rising at an increasing rate. The government states that a rise of as much as 1.75 metres before June 11 is possible, taking the river past its 50-year return level. The government bulletin notes that the model they are using for prediction is characterized by high uncertainty.

An outright flood warning is in effect for the Pelly River in the Ross River area. This means that if the river hasn’t breached its banks already it will soon, flooding areas nearby. A water level rise of 20 cm was reported over the last 48 hours. The river’s rise is slowing but nearby areas have already started to flood. The flood warning predicts the river will peak about 60 cm above its current level.

The public is being advised to steer clear of fast flowing streams and potentially unstable riverbanks. The owners of properties prone to flooding should have a plan in place to protect it if water rises further. More information is available at Yukon.ca/floods.

Contact Jim Elliot at jim.elliot@yukon-news.com