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Parts of Yukon highway re-open after rain, mudslides


Several homes in Upper Liard were evacuated. Photo courtesy Yukon government.
Several homes in Upper Liard were evacuated. Photo courtesy Yukon government.

Staff writers

June 11, 2012 — After mudslides and washouts, parts of the Alaska Highway have re-opened in Yukon.

Severe weather combined with a high snowpack caused flooding along the Liard River and closures along the Alaska Highway, the Yukon's main link to the rest of Canada.

The rising waters caused dike breaches over the weekend.

"Obviously the priority right now is safety and getting this roadway open as quickly as possible," Yukon Fire Information Officer George Maratos said Sunday. "It is a significant washout, so that is going to be a challenge, but that is the priority."

Crews have been working around the clock and some parts of the highway have been cleared. Officials warn however, that there will be delays and drivers should expect heavy traffic in the region.

11 homes in Upper Liard were evacuated Saturday, while 24 residents of Lower Post, in the extreme north of B.C., were also moved to safety Sunday.

Maratos said several people were rushing to stockpile groceries, and at least one store posted a notice saying they were flying in more food.

Government officials say the damage is worse than originally expected and repairs could take several days.


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