Yukon NDP calls for government coordination on sandbagging efforts

Several regions of the Yukon are struggling from never-before-seen water levels and severe flooding risks. As dozens of houses are at risk and hundreds of volunteers are participating in the sandbagging efforts, the Yukon NDP cannot help but notice that a key piece in the government response is missing, and that’s to help coordinate the community response and the volunteer efforts.

“We have seen an outpouring of generosity from people wanting to help out, but most of them don’t know where their help is needed. Volunteers are resorting to social media groups to try to figure out where to go. This results in some houses being completely missed because they are not on the social media map – especially elderly people, who need critical help from volunteers to try to save their home,” said Kate White, Leader of the Yukon NDP.

“It’s been amazing to see so many Yukon businesses volunteering their time during work hours to help sandbag. We look forward to seeing the Yukon’s largest employer, the Yukon Government, follow suit,” said Emily Tredger, MLA for Whitehorse Centre.

The Yukon NDP is calling on the government to:

  • Set up a central platform to indicate where sandbagging operations are located;
  • Allow for homeowners to sign-up for help, both online and in person at their local sandbagging station, so that volunteers and community organisations can connect with them directly. Focus should also be made to help homeowners who are physically unable to participate in the flooding response efforts.
  • Allow Yukon employees who are willing and able to volunteer to do so during work hours.
  • Having important information be available at sandbagging stations, such as a phone number for sand and bag delivery, or instructions that bags should be filled to 60%. 
  • Making porta-potties available at all sandbagging sites.

“We are in contact with the government regarding these recommendations and encourage them to implement them as soon as possible. The community response has been incredible, and I believe that if we allow people to both ask and offer help, that will go a long way to addressing the need,” said Kate White.