Saturday, August 1, 2015

Town loses heat supply

NORMAN WELLS, N.W.T.—A town in Northwest Territories has declared a state of emergency after its heating supply was cut.
Imperial Oil said a power outage early yesterday morning at its facilities resulted in a controlled shutdown of its operations.

The company supplies natural gas to Norman Wells for residential heating.
Imperial spokesman Pius Rolheiser said partial natural gas service was restored later yesterday.
“The key thing from our perspective is partial service has been restored, people have heat in their homes,” Rolheiser said from Calgary.
“And our priority now is to return our operations to normal and then to make sure we conduct an investigation to fully understand what led to that power outage,” he added.
The MLA for the area, Norman Yakeleya, said it was minus-49 C with the windchill yesterday and 850 residents—about 85 percent of the townspeople—depend on natural gas to heat their homes.
Others use diesel or wood stoves, he added.
He said the town’s school was not affected, and was being used as a centre for residents to go to if their heat was not on.
But the town’s health centre didn’t have heat and patients had to be moved, Yakeleya noted.
He said the townspeople worked together to help those without heat.
Had the heat not been restored, Yakeleya said there was talk of evacuating people to Inuvik and Yellowknife.
“It really shows how critical [it is] for us to have a reliable source of energy for our small isolated northern communities,” he stressed.

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