Contingencies were put in place, evacuation plans were mapped out and potential problem sites were identified.

But it turned out to be another year of abundant caution for the Hamlet of Aklavik which, in spite of being in the middle of a flood plain, avoided the high waters that hit Inuvik last week.

“We didn’t have any real flooding at all,” said senior administrative officer Fred Behrens. “It stayed fairly high for four or five days. If there had been a jam or anything at that time it definitely would have flooded.

“There’s areas in town where the ditches were under water, but that’s normal for high water.”

With the hamlet located in a flood-prone area, officials had spent the last month preparing for the annual spring melt. Plans were in place to airlift people to Inuvik if needed. The lives of elders, followed by women and children, were to be saved first in a life-threatening situation.

However, Behrens said the hamlet dodged the flood for the sixth year in a row.

“Every year we plan for it,” he said. “Fortunately, every year that I’ve been here so far it’s been a nice melt and break-up with no drastic jams or anything.”

With the GNWT well into phase one of its Emerging Wisely strategy, Behrens said life was slowly returning to normal in the hamlet.

He said Moose Kerr school has been offering tutoring for students displaced by COVID-19, but he had not heard any update on graduation for students.

While the traditional Inuvialuit Feast had to be postponed because of physical distancing requirements, the hamlet was still slated to host drum dancers for Inuvialuit Day on June 5.

However, because of the passing of elder Wally Tyrrell, the performance was delayed until June 8 to allow members to attend the service.


Eric Bowling

A lover of knowledge and adventure, Eric Bowling jumped at the opportunity to write for the Inuvik Drum and to see the world from a totally different vantage point. He has covered just about everything...

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  1. Hi, …’ a lover of knowledge ‘ OK!
    Do you want to get some info from someone who has been there.. ( family in Inuvik) been in the North for 40 years, raised family there, taught at
    what is now Aurora College… not gossip, but facts pertaining to the
    evolvement development of the North,
    If this is in your interest!