Floods force Ross River and Rock Creek evacuations

Ice jams caused sudden floods that hit Ross River and Rock Creek this week, forcing some residents from their homes. The Alaska and Robert Campbell highways have also been hit by high water this week.

Ice jams caused sudden floods that hit Ross River and Rock Creek this week, forcing some residents from their homes.

The Alaska and Robert Campbell highways have also been hit by high water this week.

Irene Morin first became aware of the problem in Ross River when a neighbour sent her kids over because the neighbour’s house had begun to flood.

“Her house was flooding so fast that she wanted to have her little ones safe while she was putting up her pictures and making some things safe,” said Morin in an interview yesterday.

“I turned around and I saw the water overflowing from across the road, from that property, overflowing as if from the bathtub. Just a big flow on to the road, the ditch, and over the road. It was just like, in 15, 20 minutes, my yard was flooded. I’ve never seen it like that. Unbelievable.”

That all happened around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, said Morin, and by 4 the RCMP had arrived to help residents get out.

The road out was completely flooded.

“We followed the RCMP on the road – we didn’t see the road, it was all a big lake,” said Morin. “I just hoped that we would stay on the road, not in the ditch, because there the water was even thicker.”

At least five homes were flooded, and 10 people evacuated, including the neighbours and their five kids, she said.

Judging by a waterline left by floating leaves caught in willow branches, her yard was at least two feet underwater at the peak of the flood, said Morin.

But only the basement was flooded.

The neighbours, whose house is much lower, had it much worse, she said.

“They had maybe four inches before the water would have come in the window, into the kids’ bedrooms. The whole house was flooded. And right now they’re peeling the carpets, they have people helping them to move furniture out of the house. The floor is completely, completely wet. It’s going to have to be all redone probably.”

The water began to recede around 6:30 p.m., and Morin and her husband returned to their home around 9:15 p.m.

“Everything is good. We thank God that it happened during the day, not at night. That’s the big thing.”

The flood was “little stuff” compared to what people in other parts of the world have faced, she said.

The community is relieved, but not completely out of the water, said Morin.

“Right now by the river there are huge blocks of ice, and people are saying that it’s going to happen again.”

Crews are in the community and ready to respond in the event of another flood, said George Maratos, spokesperson with Wildland Fire Management.

Floods hit the Rock Creek community near Dawson City Tuesday.

“The fortunate thing is that this community is quite educated when it comes to flood preparedness and potential flood situations. It has happened in the past,” said Maratos.

Jeremy Kull hosted a barbecue for neighbours Wednesday to celebrate the passing of the flood.

“I’ve been here for three-and-a-half years and this is my first flood. It was fun,” he said.

“Having the Klondike in my kitchen is not my idea of fun,” retorted Elena Kennedy.

The Alaska Highway between Haines Junction and Whitehorse closed midday Wednesday when spring run-off came over the road near kilometre 1,500, said Aisha Montgomery, spokesperson with Highways and Public Works.

A detour route opened Wednesday evening, allowing travellers to get through.

Motorists can still expect up to a 20-minute delay, and repairs could take up to a week, said Montgomery.

The Robert Campbell Highway remains closed at kilometre 290, south of Ross River, due to a washout. Access to the Nahanni Range Road from Watson Lake is still possible.

It’s too early to say when that road might reopen, said Montgomery.

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at


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

Just Posted

Jodie Gibson has been named the 2020 Prospector of the Year by the Yukon Prospectors Association. (Submitted)
Jodie Gibson named 2020 Prospector of the Year

Annual award handed out by the Yukon Prospector’s Association

A number 55 is lit in honour of Travis Adams, who died earlier this year, at the Winter Wonderland Walk at Meadow Lakes Golf Club in Whitehorse on Nov. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
A new take on holiday traditions

Winter Wonderland Walk, virtual Stories with Santa all part of 2020 festive events in Whitehorse

Eric Schroff, executive director with the Yukon Fish and Game Association, poses for a portrait on Feb. 20. Schroff says he is puzzled as to why the Yukon government is cutting back on funding for the association. (Jackie Hong/Yukon News file)
YG cuts Yukon Fish and Game Association funding, tried to vet outgoing communications

Yukon Fish and Game Association says 25 per cent government funding cut will impact operations


Wyatt’s World for Nov. 27, 2020

Premier Sandy Silver during a live update on the COVID-19 situation at a press conference in Whitehorse on March 27. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Total Yukon COVID case count increased to 42 cases

Premier urges patience after national meeting on vaccine roll-out

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Karen Wenkebach has been appointed as a judge for the Yukon Supreme Court. (Yukon News file)
New justice appointed

Karen Wenckebach has been appointed as a judge for the Supreme Court… Continue reading

Catherine Constable, the city’s manager of legislative services, speaks at a council and senior management (CASM) meeting about CASM policy in Whitehorse on June 13, 2019. Constable highlighted research showing many municipalities require a lengthy notice period before a delegate can be added to the agenda of a council meeting. Under the current Whitehorse procedures bylaw, residents wanting to register as delegates are asked to do so by 11 a.m. on the Friday ahead of the council meeting. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Changes continue to be contemplated for procedures bylaw

Registration deadline may be altered for delegates

Cody Pederson of the CA Storm walks around LJ’s Sabres player Clay Plume during the ‘A’ division final of the 2019 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28 in Whitehorse next year, was officially cancelled on Nov. 24 in a press release from organizers. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament cancelled

The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28… Continue reading

Lev Dolgachov/123rf
The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner stressed the need to safeguard personal information while shopping this holiday season in a press release on Nov. 24.
Information and Privacy Commissioner issues reminder about shopping

The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Diane McLeod-McKay stressed the need to… Continue reading

Keith Lay speaks at a city council meeting on Dec. 4, 2017. Lay provided the lone submission to council on the city’s proposed $33 million capital spending plan for 2021 on Nov. 23, taking issue with a number of projects outlined. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Resident raises issues with city’s capital budget

Council to vote on budget in December

Most Read