Paradise Evacuated (again)

“Paradise Evacuated” is a poem from my collection Dust Blown Side of the Journey and describes the evacuation of the northern community of Paradise in Canada due to forest fires. Now Paradise and nearby communities including Hay River have been evacuated due to breakaway ice sending floodwaters surging into town. My sister had to flee from her home. Here is drone footage from Aaron Tambour. Water and sewage systems have been damaged and live power lines are down making it unsafe for people to return home even after the flood waters have receded.

Image from video footage by Aaron Tambour

Paradise Evacuated (excerpt)

…Paradise is real

you can visit any time

if only for a perfect day or

if only in your memory…


  1. Oh Eleanore,
    How dreadful for your sister & family! Hope the problems with sewage, E/G/W will be solved fast, once the water recedes and all the people who had to flee will be able to start rebuilding & recreating their Paradise again.
    One of my Canadian friends will relocate to Newfoundland this year. So am pretty keen to learn more about the area.
    Am pretty fond of the islands over the outstanding natural beauty & already know the community spirit is admirable.
    Hope you all remain safe & will not give up despite the heartache.

    1. Thank you Kate. My sister was one of the fortunate few and her home is safe. Most homes were damaged. A family member says, “It will take months if not years of rebuilding in many parts of the town.”

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