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Flooding in Hay River, N.W.T., on May 11.Caitrin Pilkington/The Canadian Press

A town in the Northwest Territories says people were being allowed to return to their homes Sunday evening, four days after about 3,500 were ordered to evacuate as flood waters rose.

A reopening plan posted by the Town of Hay River, on the south shore of Great Slave Lake, warns residents that hazard assessments do not include private property.

The plan says it is important that residents understand the specific services available on their properties as they decide when it is appropriate to return.

If residents decide their home is not habitable, the plan says they can return to the host evacuation centres for short term accommodation.

Hay River is known as the “Hub of the North” because it is an important transportation and communications centre.

It is the staging point for the shipment of goods further into the territory and heart of the Great Slave Lake commercial fishery.

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