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Power restored in Arviat, Nunavut, day after state of emergency declared

November 27, 2023
By Jeff Pelletier, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Arviat, Nunavut, Mayor Joe Savikataaq Jr.’s pickup truck is stuck under a pile of snow in Arviat following Wednesday’s blizzard, which impacted communities across Kivalliq Region. (Photo: Joe Savikataaq Jr./Nunatsiaq News)

Qulliq Energy Corp. reported power was restored throughout nearly all of Arviat by late Saturday, a day after the hamlet council declared a state of emergency

QEC announced on Facebook Saturday evening that staff who arrived earlier in the day to get the community back online were close to finishing the job.

“Full power has been restored to all customers, except the middle school which crews are currently repairing,” the post read. “Thank you for your ongoing support and patience!”

Nunavut’s electricity provider said people still without power should contact its emergency line at 1-833-313-3030.


Earlier Saturday, Mayor Joe Savikataaq Jr. told Nunatsiaq News he was hopeful power would be back by the end of the day.

Savikataaq said Saturday that community members welcomed the arrival of Qulliq Energy Corp. workers after the hamlet declared a local state of emergency due to blizzard-related power outages.

The hamlet council declared a state of emergency Friday evening after several homes and other buildings in the community were still without power after a midweek blizzard wreaked havoc upon several communities in the Kivalliq region.

One Arviat resident died and several buildings in surrounding communities were damaged as 100 km/h winds and wind chill temperatures nearing -40 C affected the region Wednesday.

Savikataaq said Saturday afternoon that 53 homes were without power and were relying on generators.

Power was also out at the airport. With limited daylight and no runway lights, it has been a challenge to safely bring QEC workers to the community to restore electricity.

“We’ve been trying to get linemen into Arviat here for the past few days, but there has been one thing after another: weather, short daylight hours and mechanical issues,” Savikataaq said.

During the state of emergency, which Savikataaq said would last approximately three days, the community opened the elementary school’s gym as a place where people can warm up and have a snack and a drink.

QEC posted updates on social media about its efforts to restore power in Arviat.

Workers were able to land on a charter flight Saturday afternoon and get to work, according to a Facebook post.

With the workers finally on the ground, Savikataaq said he was hopeful things could return to normal perhaps as soon as the end of the day Saturday.

“Thank you to housing and Hamlet of Arviat workers, and a big thank you to QEC and the Department of [Community and Government Services],” he said.

“When we declared a local state of emergency, we got what we wanted done and lots of support is coming in now.”

Jeff Pelletier is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter for Nunatsiaq News. 

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