State of Emergency in Norman Wells

Living in the Southwest of British Columbia, we are often mocked for our mild weather, and our inability to drive in snow. Reading an old friend’s blog over the past few days, however, has stressed just how different the north and south of the country are.

My friend and his partner live in Normal Wells, NWT, and have been experiencing a state of emergency.

You see, the ambient temperature is -43°C (although the °C is perhaps redundant when the temp is this low), and at that temperature it’s not safe for kids to walk to school. Then a power outage cut off natural gas to the community for 12 hours. That’s long enough for the inside of the house to get so cold that all the water freezes.

The mayor is quoted as saying that in preparation for a worst-case scenario they were :close to chartering planes to get people out of town.” Seems drastic.

It also make you think how reliant we are on oil; they use a generator to maintain pressure in the gas lines to keep their furnaces going. Without oil, people couldn’t even live there. It’s ironic that they are undergoing an oil boom right now.

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