Tuesday, August 30, 2011


So yes, I did the post about Moving to Iqaluit the other day and I certainly could have did an update yesterday. And it would have been "strange things are going to happen in Iqaluit. You might as well start getting zen with it now."

Monday's bit of weirdness was over power. In order for there to be power in Iqaluit a number of generators are needed. They also require a lot of work because most of them are old. As it happens one of the generators was down for maintenance work. Which would make it a phenomenally bad time for the main generator in town to have a little meltdown. Which is none the less what happened yesterday.

So the city was suddenly face with the problem of having a substantial energy demand and not enough working generators to meet that demand. Now, in Toronto maybe you rush out to the warehouse and get the part you need to make the main generator work. Or perhaps you put a call out and the part arrives on a special charter a few hours later.

This is Iqaluit. Things don't really work that way. So in order to get the part needed, the power corp. was talking about it taking a few days. Full power might not be back until Wednesday. Which, in Nunavut speak, probably meant Thursday. So this meant power rationing. The company issued a press release outlining a schedule where one part of the town would get power for four hours, the other part wouldn't. The exceptions were the hospital and the airport.

So immediately madness sets in around town. Work schedules go out the window because most businesses and offices had to close if there was not power. Stores are trying to figure out to open so that people can buy supplies, but make sure their produce doesn't go bad.

Oddly, there was a lot of griping online about not being able to get a cup of coffee. Oh, and water supplies got weird around town as well. For example, we couldn't do anything with water without power. We needed electricity for our water pump to work. So, full tank of water, no way to really to get it to where we needed it to go.

So yeah, it was shaping up to be an interesting and dramatic few days. I figured people were going to start gnawing on each other's bones if power wasn't restored by Wednesday. Nothing like not having a regular source of power to make people really unhappy.

Fortunately we got a little miracle around 8 pm last night. They got the generator down for maintenance up and working again. So there's power, although I suspect it's been hanging by a string the last 24 hours. They're begging people to be careful with power.

So all is right in the universe at this moment. And it could have been worse...the power went out in August. If it had gone out in February, people would have taken to burning their neighbours for warmth.

Anyway, these things happen from time to time. So consider it one more thing to mentally prepare yourself for if considering a life in the arctic.

Last Five
1. Ball and biscuit - The White Stripes*
2. Sunny came home - Shawn Colvin
3. Longest time - Billy Joel
4. Spike (live) - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
5. Your ex-lover is dead - Stars


Kellie said...

Aaah, Iqaluit! I'll be back tomorrow, can't wait. Sort of.

Jennith said...

we had the same happen in Baker about 3 years ago in the dead bitter cold of winter. No reported homicides or arson. Just a lot of wearing coats and hats indoors. It was a real eye opener just how dependent on power we all were...