Yukon issues flood warning for Pelly River at Ross River

A file photo from Yukon, Canada. A flood warning was issued for the community of Ross River after the water level of the adjoining Pelly River rose 20 centimetres in the past two days. (Vincent Bonnay/Radio-Canada)

A flood warning was issued for the community of Ross River as the water level in the Pelly River rose 20 centimetres in the last two days.

In a news release Monday afternoon, the Yukon’s Emergency Measures Organization (EMO) said the water level is still rising although the rate at which it is rising has started to slow.

“Low lying areas adjacent to the river are currently flooding,” the release states.

A flood warning means the water level of the river (or lake) has or will exceed the banks and the adjoining areas will flood.

The EMO is advising the public to stay clear of fast-flowing rivers and potentially unstable riverbanks.

It also said that current modelling suggests the water level of the Pelly River at Ross River will continue to rise as it rains and the snowpack melts throughout this week to reach 60 centimetres above the current level.

It added, however, “there is high uncertainty with this forecast.”

It said a chance of showers in the area is expected to clear today but showers are forecast for Thursday.

A flood watch had been issued for Ross River, a community of about 350, on May 10 when the ice on the Pelly River broke and formed a jam downstream of the town. It was rescinded on May 12.

The government has been warning that record snowpack in the Yukon this past winter has increased the chances of flooding across the territory.

It said the communities of Carmacks, Dawson City, Old Crow, Pelly Crossing, Ross River, Teslin and Upper Liard are potentially at risk of flooding based on the results of its latest snowpack survey on May 1, which showed record levels of snow across eight of 11 river basins across the territory.

High waters, watches elsewhere in Yukon

The Yukon government issued a few other advisories Monday evening.

The Liard River and tributaries are on flood watch, as waters have risen 31 centimetres in the last 24 hours and is now above the five-year return period level and rising “at an increasing rate.”

Meanwhile, Yukon River at Carmacks has a high-stream advisory with levels currently above the two-year return period water level and rose close to 16 centimetres over the past 24 hours.

Teslin Lake at Teslin also has a high-water advisory with water rising 18 centimetres in the past 24 hours and “will surpass” the two-year return period level on Tuesday, an advisory said.

“All upstream and signal stations for the Teslin Lake basin are continuing to rise as high elevation snowmelt runoff continues.”

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: Just over 20% of health facilities in Yukon, Canada at risk to future flooding, report warns, CBC News

Finland: Flooding in Finland is getting worse, new climate report says, Yle News

Sweden: Heavier rainfall will increase risk of landslides and flooding in Sweden, Radio Sweden.

CBC News

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