Southern Lake levels: Update 13, 12-July 2021

Hi All,

This is the 13th email update sharing information about the flood situation for the Southern Lakes and Laberge. New flood info is highlighted in yellow. New flood response info is highlighted in blue.

Yesterday Lake Laberge rose by 1". For the first time Bennett, Tagish and Marsh stopped rising or came down slightly. It is too early to say that the flood has peaked, and we still have a lot of ground to cover, but it is very welcome news. As of Friday evening 9-July, YG declared a state of emergency for Southern Lakes, Lake Laberge and Kusawa. This allows us to be able to use aggressive measures around our lakes and rivers without needing an environmental assessment. It also allows us to be able to restrict access on the lakes to essential boat traffic only. We are concerned about submerged hazards and the amount of driftwood, live trees and detached docks in the water. And we also want to remove the issue of boat wakes. Declaring a state of emergency also allows us to cover the costs of evacuations if they become necessary.

Flood response:

 *   Southern Lakes Flood Incident Management Team is being led by Mike Smith
 *   The Incident Management Team information line is: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 867-332-7084
 *   If you or a neighbour you know needs some help, please let me or the flood team know
 *   Sand and sand bags are now available at 9 locations
 *   Marsh Lake: South McClintock Road / Boat launch off Nolan Drive / Community Centre
 *   Tagish: Community Centre / Cemetery
 *   Laberge: Horse Creek Road / Jackfish Bay / Hootalinqua fire hall
 *   Carcross: by the airstrip
 *   The flood team is prioritizing primary residences that are most at risk of flooding
 *   They have retained flood specialists from the prairies and Canadian Armed Forces and Ranger to assist with flood defences
 *   We now have 150 personnel to assist residents and volunteers
 *   Landfill hours have now been extended in support of flood defence activities
 *   As of 11-July evacuation alerts included parts of Army Beach, South McClintock and Lewes (click here<>), Tagish (click here<>) and Laberge (click here<>)
 *   Alerts are a precaution so residents prepare in case we hit an unexpected significant wind or rain event which overwhelms flood defences
 *   We have are launched a campaign for no boat wake by properties

Flood info:

 *   Southern Lakes winter snow load was more than twice our average
 *   19-March 2021, Yukon Energy (YEC) opened the locks at the Lewes River control structure (roughly 2 months early)
 *   YEC reopened the boat lock and removed the gates completely
 *   YEC removed driftwood from in front of the control structure last week and they have removed most of the gates
 *   YEC has dropped elevation of Schwatka by -0.93 m to try to increase flow through Miles Canyon
 *   Some roads are now flooded isolating access to some homes
 *   Bank erosion due to wave action is significant
 *   There remains a lot of uncertainty with all projections and we will need to monitor the rise closely
 *   Dr. Benoit Turcotte (research hydrologist) from Yukon University wrote an article explaining the flood (click here<>)
 *   Flood warning for Southern Lakes was updated on 2-July (click here<>)
 *   As of 7-July the boil water advisory was expanded for Southern Lakes, Laberge, Kusawa and Takhini River (<>click here<>)

The attached graphs show the lake levels of Bennett, Tagish, Marsh and Laberge over the past 20 years based on Government of Canada hydrometric data. Peak lake levels are typically reached in August. The 2007 flood year is indicated in purple and the average is shown in red. 2021 is shown as the dashed light blue line. I have added the full-supply and low-supply levels in yellow (please note that the Gov Canada hydro data uses relative elevations; I have adjusted the levels by their suggested datum conversions).

If you know of anyone else that would like to receive this update, please let me know. And if you have any questions / information about the flood response, please send them to me or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


pdf Southern Lakes Flood Public Update July 12 (248 KB)