Clyde River council to discuss declaring state of emergency, says CAO
Community has run out of diesel fuel and its snow clearing machines aren’t working
Clyde River hamlet councillors were poised to discuss Thursday whether to declare a state of emergency, says chief administrative officer Jerry Natanine.
A series of blizzards over the past month has raised havoc for the hamlet because only one of their loaders for snow removal is currently working, Natanine said. Usually the hamlet has two loaders and one bulldozer to help clear snow, he said.
As a result, hamlet vehicles for key services such as water delivery and sewage removal are struggling to get through snow-blocked roads.
Natanine said that he has gone four or five days without water delivery, when his house would ordinarily get it every second day.
“I don’t remember when I showered last,” Natanine said.
Sewage removal for houses is taking up to two weeks, he said. Because of these long waits, approximately 60 sewage tanks have frozen, Natanine said.
One loader and the bulldozer both broke down in late November. Natanine said diesel fuel is needed to run the machines, but the hamlet is out.
Natanine said the hamlet has requested diesel fuel from the Government of Nunavut but has not yet received a response.
The Department of Community and Government Services did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Natanine said that the hamlet has running its heavy equipment with a kind of aviation fuel, called Jet A. Several weeks ago, a technician from Caterpillar examined the machines and said the fuel has too much sulphur, Natanine said.
Cold weather aggravates the problem of using Jet A fuel, which is why two of the heavy vehicles broke in late November, he added.
The problem makes sense, since Clyde River’s heavy machines are all relatively new but have had problems consistently, Natanine said.
All of the challenges caused by a lack of snow removal in Clyde River over the last month has worn on the patience of residents, he said.
“We’ve all been very upset,” Natanine said.
The hamlet council was scheduled to consider declaring a state of emergency in the hope of improving the likelihood of receiving diesel fuel or having older equipment flown into Clyde River that can run on Jet A fuel, he said.
As things stand, if another blizzard hits, there will be no way for the hamlet to fulfill its other obligations, such as the emergency fire service, Natanine said.
“It’s long overdue.”