Thunder Bay

Muskrat Dam First Nation power generation issues appear to be improving

Officials in Muskrat Dam First Nation are optimistic the community will avoid a potential loss of power, after concerns last week that the community may have to evacuate.
Muskrat Dam First Nation had previously been preparing for a possible evacuation if the community's one remaining operating generator had failed. (Muskrat Dam First Nation/Facebook)

Officials in Muskrat Dam First Nation are optimistic the community will avoid a potential loss of power, after concerns last week that the community may have to evacuate.

The northwestern Ontario community had been in a state of emergency for two weeks, with its diesel power plant reduced to one operating generator, while an extended spell of frigid weather led to conditions with wind chill values of - 60C.

A media release issued on Friday now describes the community as being "in a good place" regarding the situation. 

Community officials said a temporary generator was hooked up to the power plant, which is helping to increase capacity. As well, improved weather has lessened demand.

"Things are starting to have a more positive focus, and we look forward to moving toward normal life again in the community as these fixes help reduce anxiety amongst our community members," community spokesperson Stan Beardy said in a statement.

Muskrat Dam Chief Gordon Beardy said resources from the Independent First Nations Alliance, as well as the Canadian Rangers and Team Rubicon, provided assistance. He said Sioux Lookout and Timmins had been on stand-by and were prepared to accept community members if an evacuation was ordered.

Officials said they have been able to obtain replacement generators, which are expected to take between four to eight weeks to fully install.

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