Glacial melt rivers, such as Kangerlussuaq’s Watson River, characteristically reach peak water levels during mid to late summer, when temperatures and melt are highest. In the past few days though, the Watson water level has risen high enough even to stun the locals.
The river is flooding infrastructure and dividing the town. Yesterday afternoon the River submerged part of the pipe that brings water into town. Once the waters reached the bridge, the residents and restaurant on the other side of the bridge had to be evacuated.
Basse Vaengtoft, who has lived in Kangerlussuaq for 17 years, told me that he had never seen the water reach as high as the pipe, and there is no telling how long the pipe will withstand the force of the water.