The word passed downstream this morning at 5:30 am. The river has gone out at Circle. The ice has broken and is on the move. We are next. All the villages along the Yukon have felt the touch of its flood waters; they all share the solemn duty of watching the river and reporting its condition to their neighbors. When the river goes out, its waters rise and surge downstream holding great blocks of ice, flotsam and driftwood in its grasp. They should reach us tomorrow.
Fort Yukon suffered a great flood back in the 80’s. The town was situated along the banks of the river back then, and much of it was wiped out. The Assembly of God minister donated a large tract a mile inland on which the town was rebuilt. The town then built a levee along the river to protect future homes in what is still called downtown.
I walked the levee this evening. The village is prepared. Those who live down by the river have packed their valuables in boats that sit in their front yards. They had dinner outside where they could watch. The river seemed quite high to me, but what do I know, I’m just a new comer? Most of my neighbors say the waters are not very high this year and the river probably won’t flood. That’s fine by me.