Flooding threatens Mayo home

A Mayo resident says the Yukon Energy Corporation needs to do a better job controlling the flow through the Mayo B hydro station after floodwaters came within metres of his home. 

A Mayo resident says the Yukon Energy Corporation needs to do a better job controlling the flow through the Mayo B hydro station after floodwaters came within metres of his home.

“It was overflowing the riverbank. It got to within a couple of feet of our house, creeping through the snow,” Bruce Mitford said.

Mitford said the flooding happens when Yukon Energy tinkers with the flow rate through the power station, which leads to ice jams down river. The water ends up flowing over the ice into his yard and threatening his property.

And it’s been getting worse, he says.

“It only started happening when Yukon Energy increased their flow through the Mayo B, when they had the grid tie-in with Dawson. It increased the winter flow rate. This year and last is the highest it’s been,” Mitford said.

The most recent flooding happened last weekend. After Mitford complained, Yukon Energy sent hydrologists to tour the affected area. The company has heavy equipment operating on the opposite bank from Mitford’s house, which works to keep a channel open through the ice to manage the water flow.

Mitford said after inspecting the flooded area, Yukon Energy agreed to reduce the Mayo B station’s flow for the next seven to 10 days to allow the heavy equipment the time to make the channel bigger.

It has allowed the water to recede for now, but Mitford says he wants a better long-term solution.

“We’ve been good about this. Over the past years we’ve been unhappy about this. This year it just got too far. We’ve been patient this year as well, thinking maybe they’re just going to clear the blockage – every time it floods it floods over the bank and freezes,” he said.

Yukon Energy did not return a call for comment by press time. In the past, the company has always insisted that the Mayo B facility is not responsible for increased winter flooding downstream, as those areas have always seen some floodwater activity.

In response to a reader’s letter last August, Yukon Energy spokeswoman Janet Patterson wrote her own letter saying, “the worst flooding took place even before Mayo B was constructed and before we did any work in the water … to conclude that Mayo B is the cause of this flooding flies in the face of the facts. Since Mayo B has been completed, Yukon Energy has been very diligent about monitoring our flows to ensure we don’t exacerbate winter flooding.”

Contact Jesse Winter at


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dawson the dog sits next to the Chariot Patrick Jackson has loaded and rigged up to walk the Dempster Highway from where it begins, off the North Klondike Highway, to the Arctic Circle. (Submitted)
Walking the Dempster

Patrick Jackson gets set for 405-kilometre journey

Liberal leader Sandy Silver speaks outside his campaign headquarters in Dawson City following early poll results on April 12. (Robin Sharp/Yukon News)
BREAKING: Minority government results will wait on tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin

The Yukon Party and the Liberal Party currently have secured the same amount of seats

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
YUKONOMIST: The Neapolitan election

Do you remember those old bricks of Neapolitan ice cream from birthday… Continue reading

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Exposure notice issued for April 3 Air North flight

Yukon Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has issued another… Continue reading

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Runners in the Yukon Arctic Ultra marathon race down the Yukon River near the Marwell industrial area in Whitehorse on Feb. 3, 2019.
Cold-weather exercise hard on the lungs

Amy Kenny Special to the Yukon News It might make you feel… Continue reading

Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Most Read