Residents of Hay River, on the south side of Great Slave Lake, have been ordered to leave and seek shelter, according to a Thursday press release from the city.
Hay River is about a five and a half hour drive around Lake Yellowknife.
City residents are not allowed to return home because “their presence here is detrimental to our recovery efforts,” the press release said.
There is no road access in certain areas, including the Vale Island Zone, and “the availability of essential services including health, food, transportation etc.” has not been confirmed in the city, according to the release.
Multiple rescues have been carried out and property damage has been reported in the city, an earlier report said.
Tyler Martel, who lives in the Hays River area, told CNN he chose not to evacuate despite the evacuation order.
By Friday afternoon, the water appeared to be receding in some areas, but “anything can still happen,” Martel told CNN.
“The city was not prepared, because this has not happened before with the south side of the bridge,” he added, “The old city north of the bridge, it is common to have high water in the spring, because it’s an island.”
A local state of emergency and evacuation order came into effect for the area on 7 May.
“Community access is limited to emergency and essential services.” according to the press release. “The city will switch completely from response to recovery activities once the risk of disintegration has been reduced and the hazards associated with the floods have diminished.”
Mikey McBryan, a resident of Yellowknife on the north side of Great Slave Lake, captured video on Thursday of a plane flying over the area, showing the Hay River Merlyn Carter Airport runway underwater, and ice chunks in the surrounding river.
McBryan told CNN that his parents live in Hay River and have damage to their basement and yard. The airport told the community it would be at least a week before services resume, he added.
“Best of all, the community stays together,” McBryan said. “Everyone participates and stays together.”