Public update on after-action review: Klondike flooding 2024

Following the de-activation of the Emergency Control Group (ECG) in relation to break-up on the Klondike River and flooding in the Klondike Valley, an After-Action Review was held between all agencies involved in the monitoring and response related to this incident. The goal of this meeting was to evaluate the response and improve future emergency response strategies. 

Key findings:

  • Updating the City of Dawson’s Emergency Response Plan throughout 2023–24 was beneficial in our response to this incident. The update included input and tabletop exercise participation from multiple levels of government and agencies typically involved in emergency scenarios in our community. This plan will continue to be prioritized and updated based on emergency response experience and collaboration moving forward.
  • Improved collaboration and communication, based on the experience of 2023 flooding and the participation in winter and spring meetings on emergency planning assisted the Control Group in having familiarity and parameters to follow during this year’s response. Ongoing collaboration and communication are a priority for all agencies involved and will become part of an annual cycle to ensure emergency planning remains a practiced priority for all organizations. 
  • ECG believes communication did improve in 2024; however, improvements can still be made to ensure inter-agency and public communication remains consistent, on time and meeting the needs of participating agencies and members of the public.
  • There is room for improvement on public education efforts around flood preparedness and response. This includes increasing public understanding of various flood risk advisories and notices, as well as making private property owners aware of risk mitigation strategies in advance of flood season.
  • Resource deployment was effective but can be quicker during future emergencies. Planning and mobilization prior to incidents, when possible, is essential to protect our community as best as possible.
  • Community engagement through volunteer response and the willingness to assist is evident. Developing a better strategy to utilize and direct volunteers for, if needed, during future incidents would be beneficial.
  • Emergency preparedness is a critical tool for members of the public. Increased efforts to inform and educate residents is a high priority to ensure response and expectations are met during future events. 

As directed by the City of Dawson’s Emergency Response Plan, an Emergency Control Group is formed when a public safety concern is raised that warrants the attention of local government. The participants vary depending on the incident. In this case, representatives from the Government of Yukon, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, City of Dawson, RCMP, Search and Rescue, Yukon Energy, Klondike Valley Fire Department, amongst others, participated in some capacity during response to the flooding concern.

All agencies involved remind residents to be as prepared as possible to keep their household and themselves safe. This will not be the last emergency experienced by our community. People can visit PreparedYukon.ca for information on how they can be prepared for future emergencies.

The Emergency Control Group wishes to thank everyone who contributed to the monitoring, management and assistance of those affected by the Klondike River breakup this spring. Their efforts are greatly appreciated and are the foundation for a safer Dawson City.

 

Media contact 

Julia Duchesne              
Communications, Community Services          
867-332-4188
julia.duchesne@yukon.ca

News release #: 
24-244