State of emergency lifted in Southern Lakes, Lake Laberge

Water levels continue to drop and are well below peak 2007 levels

Flooding is seen encroaching on a cabin near Tagish on July 7. (Stephanie Newsome/Yukon News)

Flooding is seen encroaching on a cabin near Tagish on July 7. (Stephanie Newsome/Yukon News)

The Southern Lakes region is no longer under a state of emergency.

The Government of Yukon lifted the alert in response to flooding on Sept. 14.

The State of Emergency was actioned on July 9, giving the government the “ability to provide effective and timely response to residents impacted by flooding in the territory.”

Richard Mostyn, Minister of Community Services, said in a press release that because of responders and the community, many homes and properties were protected.

As the water levels continue to fall, Mostyn said the state of emergency is no longer necessary. He assured residents there is still work being done, however.

“I want to reassure homeowners that we are continuing to develop a remediation and recovery program that will assist them in restoring their properties and mitigating against future flooding,” said Mostyn.

Water levels have lowered since Aug. 17 and the flood response is entering the recovery phase. Levels in Marsh Lake, Lake Laberge, Bennett Lake and Tagish Lake are “well below” the previous historic levels reached in 2007.

The peak water levels were reached on July 10 and 11, when Bennett, Tagish and Marsh Lakes all measured more than 20 centimetres above 2007 levels.

Lake Laberge, at its peak, was more than 40 centimetres higher than peak 2007.

More than 200 people, not including community members, were engaged in the flood response including government personnel, flood specialists from Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, as well as 100 members of the Canadian Armed Forces.

There were over 550,000 sandbags and 2,000 super bags deployed in the Southern Lakes area alone as large berms were built to protect residents and their properties.

Additional mitigation tools included sump pumps, dykes and heavy equipment to maintain high-priority access roads.

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