Buildings evacuated in northern Canadian town as gas supply fails

The Town of Norman Wells, N.W.T., is in the process of evacuating some homes and buildings because its natural gas supply isn't working. (Government of the Northwest Territories) Norman Wells, a town in Canada’s Northwest Territories, has ordered the evacuation of some buildings and homes because its natural gas service isn’t working, leaving many people without heat as temperatures fall below –40 C.

Mayor Gregor Harold McGregor has declared the town to be in a state of emergency.

Seniors in the town of 800 are being moved to a daycare, which is heated by diesel fuel, while other residents are heading to the town’s school.

Pius Rolheiser, a spokesman in Calgary for Imperial Oil, which provides the natural gas, said a power outage at 3 a.m. Monday caused the field and plant facilities to shut down. That facility provides natural gas and electricity to the town.

“Efforts to restart those facilities are currently in progress, and we’re marshaling every resource we can to restart our facilities safely and to as quickly as possible restore the facilities that provide natural gas and electricity service,” he said.

Rolheiser said they do not know what caused the power outage.

The town is currently using its backup electricity supply.

Some homes in the town do have alternative sources of heat, but most buildings are served by natural gas.

One airline in Yellowknife, the Northwest Territories capital city, is advising passengers against flying to Norman Wells today unless they have to.

The temperature in Norman Wells was –42 C at noon ET, with Environment Canada estimating a wind chill of –48 C.

For more northern stories from CBC News, click here

CBC News

For more news from Canada visit CBC News.

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.
Netiquette »

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *