ATTAWAPISKAT – Attawapiskat has been very focused this week. The Chief and Council along with community members have been dealing with the aftermath of a major winter storm. The storm with recorded wind gusts up to ninety kilometres per hour impacted the community of about 2000 residents.
The storm impacted air travel into the north. Wasaya Airlines suspended flights into the community during the storm.
The storm generated a domino effect in Attawapiskat. It first knocked out electricity. Community officials working through the problem went through the community ensuring power was off in homes prior to being able to restore service.
The next domino fell when there was an issue with the water treatment facilities in the community. Attawapiskat was under a boil water order.
Residents in the northern community have often been a political pinatta in many ways. However the fact here is just like in any community in Canada facing an emergency, the leadership and community came together.
Food and needed supplies were gathered, temporary housing was found for residents. Families gathered together to conserve energy. Those with generators to produce their own power had to run those emergency back ups for up to seventeen hours.
The fire in the temporary housing trailers, ATCO trailers that were first installed by DeBeers after a sewage back-up, was caused by an unattended candle.
The Chief and Council declared an emergency and seventy people will be evacuated from the community. That came after several days of hard work in Attawapiskat to take care of the situation as best the community could.
Today as weather conditions are offering wind chill lows into the -20s the community is reaching out to gather more help from senior levels of government.
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