Inuvik, N.W.T., airport roof damaged in blizzard

Parts of the roof at the Inuvik, N.W.T. airport were damaged in Tuesday's blizzard. The heavy snow and winds even sent an errant hot tub drifting down the town's main street.

Wind, snow also send hot tub sent drifting down town’s main street

Parts of the Inuvik, N.W.T., airport seem to have been torn off during the high winds and snow in the region Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
Strong winds and snow sent this hot tub drifting down Inuvik's main street Tuesday night. Cars had to dodge it by going down side streets instead. (Scott Gordon)

Parts of the roof at the Inuvik, N.W.T., airport were damaged in Tuesday’s blizzard.

A large section of the roof peeled back like a sardine can. Airport manager Karen King said the damage is not causing the airport to shut down since it is just exterior damage.

"The airport's fully operational. It looks a lot worse, I think," said King.

Blizzard conditions wreaked havoc in the town, and winds reached up to 90 km/h in many parts of the Beaufort Delta.

The town's power flicked on and off. A metal tower on Inuvik's famous dome building snapped in half.

Tom Zubko, the owner of New North Networks which operates out of the dome, said that damage also looks worse than it is.

"It's one of those procrastination things — I have been meaning to take it off for a long time, and mother nature's done that for me now," said Zubko.

Donna-Lynn Baskin, who lives in Inuvik, said there was little to no visibility on the roads. She called the weather Inuvik’s worst blizzard in years.

She even narrowly missed colliding with something unusual which was in the middle of Mackenzie Road, the town’s main street – a hot tub.

"It was blowing down the street, when I came upon it I had to dodge and go down a side street to avoid it. It was just scuffling along, the wind was really pushing it, it was the whole hot tub unit…I was just glad not to hit it. It was white so it just sort of blended in, right now it's lodged in a snow bank in front of one of the local businesses," she said.

Baskin said the winds were full of debris and that her home had been hit by flying shingles. She said there was so much snow blowing around that it was difficult to even see other cars on the road.

'I had to dodge and go down a side street to avoid it. It was just scuffling along, the wind was really pushing it, it was the whole hot tub unit.'—Donna-Lynn Baskin, Inuvik, N.W.T., resident

"The way the wind was gusting in some places - it was like someone had thrown white paint across the car windows," she said.

Much of the same weather is expected today in the Beaufort Delta region. Schools and offices were closed, and health centres in many of the communities were open only for emergencies.

Gwich’in Tribal Council leader Richard Nerysoo is urging people in the region to be prepared to weather out the storm with enough fuel, water and food for several days.

Winds are expected to die down Wednesday afternoon.