Wind storm hammers Grise Fiord and Pangnirtung, Nunavut

Power in Grise Fiord, Nunavut has been restored to half of the community after it was hammered by a powerful wind storm last night. In the meantime, at least one house in Pangnirtung was damaged when wind ripped the roof off.

'Our area of town is shut down because there's no light and no heat,' says Grise Fiord resident

At least one house was extensively damaged in Pangnirtung Monday night, when the roof was ripped off and the oil tank blew over. (David Kilabuk)

About half of Grise Fiord, Nunavut, is still without power after the community was hammered by a powerful wind storm Monday night.

At one point, Grise Fiord — the territory's most northerly community — was completely without power when the roof of a house ripped off and took down a power line.

Arnarulunnguaq Audlaluk says she barely slept Monday night as winds howled at over 100 km/h.

"Our area of town is shut down because there's no light and no heat," she says.

"There's some wires that need to be fixed in town and the pole broke where my sister lives and brother lives."

Qulliq Energy Corporation representatives have been on the situation since 3 a.m., according to Andy Burns, the company's operations manager.

"Once the winds died down the plant operator was able to go and disconnect the damaged section and restore power to about 50 per cent of the community," says Burns. "And that's where we sit now."

Grise Fiord is the Northernmost community in Canada.
Burns says a charter is on standby in Iqaluit with a full crew to repair the damage and restore power to the community, but weather in Grise Fiord is preventing them from leaving. Once conditions improve, he estimates it will take four hours to travel to the community.

Environment Canada still has a blizzard warning in effect for Grise Fiord today, with wind gusts of up to 110 km/h that will weaken this evening.

Audlaluk says the winds were still blasting Grise Fiord Tuesday morning, so people don't know the full extent of the damage. But she's certain there will need to be a big cleanup once the storm passes.

"My sister's shack was broken to pieces and we couldn't salvage a lot."

Pangnirtung winds hit 109 km/h

Winds gusted to 109 km/h in Pangnirtung, Nunavut on Monday night, according to Environment Canada. (David Kilabuk)
Qulliq Energy also dealt with power interruptions in Pangnirtung last night, where wind gusts reached 109 km/h, according to Environment Canada.

At least one house was extensively damaged when the roof was ripped off and the oil tank blew over.

As of Tuesday morning, only three customers were still without power in the community.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.