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Mud Lake floods, Nalcor Lies

D'Arcy Briggs

May 26, 2017

While the Muskrat Falls dam seemed to have faced serious delays as the government was forced to sit at the table with community and Indigenous stakeholders last October, blasting has continued without proper efforts being made.

On May 17, 50 residents of Mud Lake were airlifted from the community due to severe flooding. Mud Lake is about 10 km out of Happy Valley - Goose bay and resides downstream from the Muskrat Falls project.

Nalcor released a press release on Friday evening stating "The Muskrat Falls reservoir has limited storage capacity. There is no ability to store water upstream of the facility to reduce downstream flows,” It continues to state that the "spillway gates are regularly adjusted so the amount of water flowing into the reservoir is the same as the amount flowing out to maintain that level.”

While Nalcor seems to be pointing the finger at the natural freeze and thaw cycle, long-time residents and activists can’t think of a time when the town ever needed evacuation due to flooding. A worker at the site has claimed to have seen the water being released, but Nalcor denies any involvement outside of maintaining “natural” levels.

Nalcor had previously gone to efforts to state that the area of the dam known as the Northern Spur will maintain stability. Should this area break, flooding would reach Happy Valley - Goose Bay with communities such as Mud Lake being wiped out entirely. While some are calling for independent reviews of the project to be put in place, many land protectors and activists are demanding the project as a whole be shut down. The project continues to harm the environment and disrupt Indigenous and community ways of life and rights to self-determination.  

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