Government of Yukon

June 22, 2012

Yukon government providing support to people affected by Upper Liard flooding

WHITEHORSE—Officials with various agencies of the Yukon government are moving forward on a number of fronts to assist those affected by recent flooding in the Upper Liard area.

“People’s lives have been changed as result of this natural disaster and it is important that we continue to work together in support of the community,” Community Services Minister Elaine Taylor said. “The immediate priority for the Yukon government is to ensure that displaced residents have access to food, accommodation and other necessities, while departments coordinate efforts to assess damages and help residents safely access their properties.”

A group of government officials met late last week with 23 residents of Upper Liard to begin the process of moving forward. This week, technical officers from the Yukon Housing Corporation (YHC) have been conducting home assessments in Upper Liard.

“The information gathered by Yukon Housing Corporation staff will assist all parties as we explore options to help Upper Liard residents whose properties were damaged by the flooding,” Minister responsible for the Yukon Housing Corporation Scott Kent said. “Once we have more specific information about the scope of the damage, it will help us better identify ways to move forward.”

Officials with Environmental Health Services have been conducting sampling of public drinking water systems in the Watson Lake area. The boil water advisory for wells along the Liard River remains in effect, until individuals have tested their water and received a satisfactory result. Water bottles for testing of private wells, rubber gloves, masks and information on how to safely re-enter a home after a flood are available for residents through the Watson Lake offices of Yukon Housing Corporation and Social Services.

Social Services is also available to help residents access food and shelter as required through the recovery process. Environment Yukon will offer technical expertise on assessment and remediation requirements for contaminated soils and waters and Community Services will assess damages to community roads.

Wildland Fire Management officials remain on scene in Upper Liard to assist with cleanup, de-watering and other flood relief efforts. The incident management team has arranged for 24-7 site security to help ensure people’s possessions are secure and to protect those entering the flood-stricken area.

On June 9, eleven properties on the east side of the Liard River at the community of Upper Liard were submerged when the river peaked at 1.9 metres above the flood stage, a full metre higher than the previous record-setting flood waters in 1972. Four other properties on the west side of the river also suffered water damage. Flood waters have since receded and are now below flood level.



Elaine Schiman
Cabinet Communications
Matt King
Community Services
Nathalie Ouellet
Yukon Housing Corporation
Dennis Senger
Patricia Living
Health and Social Services


News Release #12-121