A Nunavut politician says she was shocked to see the damage caused by flooding in Pangnirtung, two weeks after the hamlet declared a local emergency.
Community and Government Services Minister Levinia Brown visited the Baffin Island community of Pangnirtung earlier this week with Premier Paul Okalik and Energy Minister Ed Picco.
"To see permafrost the way it is, it's a new experience for me," she said. "[But] I felt safe because there were elders there, and there were engineers there, and we were on solid ground."
So much water blasted along the river that it carved a 10-metre channel through the permafrost, right down to bedrock.
Pangnirtung declared the state of emergency after heavy rains and strong winds caused two bridges over the Duval River to become unusable.
Once the bridges were closed, the hamlet's 1,325 residents had no access to the water reservoir, sewage treatment plant and garbage dump. They were forced to dump raw sewage into the river, which flows into the pristine waters of the Pangnirtung Fiord.
Since the rains, large cracks and sinkholes have been discovered around the riverbank. Brown said emergency workers are toiling around the clock to repair the damage.
The Nunavut government has announced just over $500,000 in aid for Pangnirtung.