The Yukon government has placed two bodies of water on flood watch, meaning that river or lake levels are rising and may soon burst their banks. The advisory has been issued for Teslin Lake and for the Yukon River at Carmacks.
Water levels on Teslin Lake are currently above the 10-year return level and rising. According to the Yukon government, it is likely to exceed the 20-year level within the next 48 hours.
“Current forecasts indicate precipitation to continue in southeast Yukon including the Teslin area for the next 48 hours. Currently, the lake is rising at approximately 10 cm per day and may continue to do so for several days,” the government announcement reads.
Along with precipitation, higher than normal snow pack is behind the high water watch. According to the government, the snow pack in the Teslin basin was sitting at 160 per cent of normal on May 1. The majority of that snow pack has melted but snow at high elevation will continue to contribute to Teslin Lake; several streams that drain into the lake are still rising.
The high water of the Yukon River has led to a flood watch near Carmacks. The river is above its 20-year return level and it continues to rise. Water levels in tributaries on the river upstream of Carmacks are still rising or have only recently stabilized. According to the government, the water level in Carmacks is expected to continue to rise as a result.
Significant precipitation has joined the melting snow to swell the river.
“Current forecasts indicate clearing and little precipitation over central Yukon in the coming days. However, rain is forecast in the Teslin Lake area which will continue to increase contributions to the Yukon River at Carmacks. Water levels are expected to continue increasing throughout the week,” The flood watch notice reads.
The public are advised to stay clear of the Yukon and other fast-flowing rivers during the high-streamflow period.
The owners of property that is prone to flooding near either body of water are advised to have a plan in place in the event of flooding.
The government promised further updates as conditions change.