Monday, May 11, 2009


It's true! Although predictions were skeptical for the Awesome to Not-Awesome Ratio for the weekend, the outcome defied all logic.

On Friday, at an ambitious 4:30am, the ice finally broke on the MacKenzie River as a result of the flowing Liard River! Although I was off by a mere 12 hours in my pick on the office Ice Break-up Pool, it was an exciting day none the less. Most of the village was down on the river watching the ice go, and umm, not at work. Kind of an unofficial civic holiday if you will!
It was almost as if some sort of uber-celebrity was making a surprise visit to Simpson with the amount of rumors that were flying about over the river for the last week.

I heard the river was going to go tonight! Yeah, tonight!
I heard the river isn't even going to break this year! Something about global warming...
Did you know that "MacKenzie" isn't even its real name?
I heard the river is gay! No seriously.

annnnnd so on in this manner until that fateful moment on Friday morning when the wooden tri-pod setup on the river collapsed, signaling the movement of the ice. (Is it sad that the use of the wooden tripod is common knowledge to all residents here? I think NOT)
Here's a shot of the river around noon on Friday...where the ice was mostly still together:

and then starting to have some open water:

Of course with the breakup also comes the rising water, and rise it did! (gawwwrsh)
There was a flood watch going on to notify us Simpsonites about a possible evacuation if the water level reached 14 metres. Unfortunately, it only reached a little over 13 metres. So maybe it's not right to hope for a local state of emergency, but I love the excitement that kind of thing brings! When I was in Halifax for Hurricane Juan and White Juan (arg, that name for the blizzard just sounds so lame) it was really fascinating how everything shut down and everyone really came together. A bonding experiencing for an entire city if you will.
So like I said, the water did come up a bit, with some gee-wiz spillage of ice:

not that any of this impressed Sadie of course:

To sum up the general excitement felt all throughout Fort Simpson on Friday, I will leave you with this picture:

Fitting, yes?

Gotta love this place! (YOU MUST)

1 comment:

Mongoose said...

Hey!! You totally stole my bit!

Amazingly though, it looks like breakup in Simpson is even more boring than breakup in Hay River, even though we only got ten feet of water. (3 m, if you're gonna be that way.)