Dawson City is built on a flood plain.
The dike and the dike gates featured in Jackie’s sequence are evidence of recurring floods during the spring break-up. The ice can get jammed up in the fast moving Yukon River and that creates a dam. Water and ice pour into Dawson, smashing and sweeping cars and buildings away.
Check out the pictures below of historic floods in Dawson from the photos archives of The Whitehorse Star and Dawson City Museum.
We’ve also included some photo sets of more recent break ups–which everyone seems to agree are not the same intensity and magnitude anymore.
You can research this and more at the Dawson City Museum online photo database.