Liard River Flooding

The spine of the Liard River depicted above protects residents of Lower Post, BC from an emerging flood. In this week’s Photo of the Week, our selected photographer, Bruce McKay, recognizes the serious risks involved with living in areas vulnerable to flooding. This photo is part of a 39-image series which documents the flood preparation efforts in the Liard River and can be found here.

The Liard River flows through the Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Northern BC. This picture captured the Liard River flood in June which forced 24 residents of Lower Post to evacuate their homes. In Upper Liard, Yukon, the importance of emergency response was exemplified after 11 residents evacuated their homes two hours before the river breached a 30 metre dike and submerging all the homes under several feet of water.

In the early 90s, the Liard River was once the focus of a potential BC Hydro development project. What is now the Liard River Corridor Provincial Park was once identified as an Area of Interest by the Protected Areas Strategy. Thankfully, in 1997, The Fort Nelson Land and Resource Management Plan the river received protection status. If the Liard River had been developed, floods like this one may have been more severe or re-occurring. Removal of riparian forests and wetlands are not only removal of the beautiful landscapes, but also of the protection services they provide such as flood prevention and reduced erosion and land/mud/debris slides/flows/falls.

Thank you to Bruce McKay for giving us a look behind flood preparation services and if you would like to see more of his photography, click here! And we’ve noticed a flux in photos in our BC Wetlands Photography collection, if you would like to check out more photos or contribute, click here!

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