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Flood waters near Dawson City reach North Klondike Highway

At Henderson Corner near Dawson City, Yukon, on Thursday. The North Klondike Highway was closed late on Wednesday because of flooding and was reopened to one lane by Thursday morning, though emergency officials warned that things were still 'dynamic.' (Chris MacIntyre/CBC - image credit)
At Henderson Corner near Dawson City, Yukon, on Thursday. The North Klondike Highway was closed late on Wednesday because of flooding and was reopened to one lane by Thursday morning, though emergency officials warned that things were still 'dynamic.' (Chris MacIntyre/CBC - image credit)

Ice jams on the Klondike River near Dawson City, Yukon, continue to cause trouble for local residents, with floodwaters forcing people from their homes, and closing the North Klondike Highway for a period.

Emergency officials said Thursday they know of 32 residents whose properties have been evacuated. Those people have been put up in hotels in town.

The North Klondike Highway was closed late on Wednesday and was reopened to one lane by Thursday morning, but emergency officials warned that things were still "dynamic."

"What our highways crew has done overnight is place a berm along the river side of the highway, and that's what's allowed us to get that one lane open," said Julie Duchesne, with the territorial government's emergency coordination centre, just after noon on Thursday.

"So for now it's open, but of course that could change as conditions are still changing quickly in the area."

She advised people to monitor 511 Yukon for the latest highway conditions.

Chris MacIntyre/CBC
Chris MacIntyre/CBC

Dozens of homes in the Rock Creek and Henderson Corner subdivisions have been evacuated in recent days as the waters have been rising. The flooding has been caused by a series of ice jams making their way through the twists and turns of the Klondike River, Duchesne said.

Now the water is getting onto the highway, which follows the Klondike to where it drains into the Yukon River.

"Anyone who's driven that stretch of the highway knows the highway's really packed close to the river there. So it's now experiencing the same impacts that folks in Henderson Corner and Rock Creek have been seeing," said Duchesne.

Chris MacIntyre/CBC
Chris MacIntyre/CBC

She said the ice is showing signs of decay, which is good news. But the ice jam at Henderson Corner could last "a little while," and needs some heat and sunlight to melt it. That could take days.

"It's hard to say, but you know certainly the next few days are probably going to continue to be pretty dynamic," she said.

The forecast on Thursday afternoon was calling for cloudier conditions through the weekend, with possible showers.

She says anybody who's had to leave their property and needs accommodation can call 867-332-4597.