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'Very fragile' power restored to all of Pangnirtung: hamlet

The Hamlet of Pangnirtung says power has been restored to the entire community, ending a four-day period in which the community had only partial power. But it says a steadier stream of power may not come into effect for a week.

Residents asked to avoid high energy use to prevent rolling blackouts

The entire community of Pangnirtung had power as of early Monday morning, though the hamlet termed the quality of power as "very fragile." (Submitted by David Kilabuk)

Power has been restored to all of Pangnirtung, ending a four-day period in which the community had only partial power.

But the hamlet's senior administrative officer said Monday the restored power is "very fragile" and asked residents to avoid using too much energy or else risk future outages.

"If everyone was to put all their stoves and ovens and dryers on, we could have rolling blackouts. So we're asking people to conserve their power and be energy-wise for the time being," said Shawn Trepanier.

"As this is a temporary solution, residents are asked to continue to conserve power," echoed the power corporation on Twitter.

In an update Monday afternoon, the territorial government said the community may experience periodic outages anyway as technicians stabilize the system.  

If everyone was to put all their stoves and ovens and dryers on, we could have rolling blackouts.- Shawn Trepanier, Hamlet of Pangnirtung

Equipment meant to help the community gain more steady power is expected to arrive in about a week, Trepanier said.

Meanwhile, the government says generators have been installed throughout the community. 

The government said the local state of emergency will stay in place until a more permanent, mid-term solution is put in action.  

Trepanier, who works with the hamlet office, spoke from Attagoyuk Ilisavik High School, where community members had been encouraged to gather for warmth in the early stages of the blackout. The outage began early Thursday morning after a fire broke out at the local power plant.

The school was scheduled to stay open as a warming centre until 5 p.m. ET Monday. 

The school, as well as the health centre and the sewage and power plants, will remain on backup power to avoid putting strain on the community's main energy system.

Power was restored to the entire community at 12:50 a.m. Monday morning, according to the power corporation. 

Silasie Archie Qappik, a public works officer for the hamlet, said he went to bed at 11:30 p.m. Sunday night without power but realized he had power when he woke up Monday morning. 

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