Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavut November 10, 2014 - 2:22 pm

Nunavut community faced rotating black-outs as generator fails

Remembrance Day ceremony moved to Nov. 12 as power is restored late Nov. 10

Cambridge Bay facedrotating black-outs Nov.10 until QEC crews could repair a broken generator. (PHOTO BY JANE GEORGE)
Cambridge Bay facedrotating black-outs Nov.10 until QEC crews could repair a broken generator. (PHOTO BY JANE GEORGE)

(Updated, Nov. 10, 10:15 p.m.)

Cambridge Bay residents endured rotating black-outs throughout Nov. 10 as crews struggled to restore power to the Kitikmeot community of about 1,600 people, causing many offices and businesses to close.

A decision was made late Nov. 10 to postpone the town’s Remembrance Day commemoration ceremony to 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 12, because power to the Luke Novoligak Community Hall could not be guaranteed on Nov. 11.

However, the Ikalututiak co-operative association’s annual general meeting went on as planned in the hall Nov. 10.

By 6 p.m. on Nov. 10, the rotating black-outs had ceased, when a generator was brought in from Gjoa Haven.

A generator failure caused the power outage early Nov. 10, Qulliq Energy Corp. said in a news release.

First, power was restored early Nov. 10 to the community’s feeder #1, which serves the health centre, local Government of Nunavut offices, schools, the co-operative and Northern stores, hamlet office and fire hall.

But the rest of Cambridge Bay continued to endure 45-minute power rotations as the power corporation worked to restore service

To do that, the QEC sent a maintenance team from Gjoa Haven with the new equipment. It’s not clear what caused the initial failure, the QEC said.

But until the new generator arrived, the QEC asked Cambridge Bay residents to conserve power.

“QEC would like to thank the residents for their understanding and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause,” Qulliq said in its Nov. 10 release.

Due to power outages, there were no water deliveries scheduled for Nov. 10, the hamlet office said — although later in the day the water trucks returned to their rounds, working to catch-up until 10 p.m.

Schools in Cambridge Bay were already scheduled to remain closed Nov. 10 for a professional development day and again Nov. 11 to mark Remembrance Day.

But the local Nunavut Arctic College campus cancelled classes Nov. 10, the GN postponed its Nov. 10 long-term service awards ceremony and the Royal Bank also closed until Nov. 12.

Most made the best of a bad situation — a commenter on Facebook said Nov. 10 “was a very nice, quiet day. Just like being at the cabin especially with the lantern and primus stove on.”

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