Power is finally back on in Sanirajak, Nunavut, according to the Qulliq Energy Corporation (QEC), after an eight-hour partial outage Wednesday.

After intermittent power outages Saturday and Tuesday, parts of the community lost power again Wednesday morning as temperatures dropped below –30 C, with wind chill of –51 C.

The outage, which began just before 9 a.m., affected the hotel, RCMP, arena and some homes. Workers found a broken power line, but couldn’t fix it until the energy corporation flew in a crew.

Repairs were delayed further when that charter couldn’t land because of weather, QEC said in social media posts. The charter flight eventually managed to land at around 3:30 p.m., and around 4:30 p.m., power was restored.

Throughout the day, the local district education authority opened Sanirajak’s school gymnasium to keep people warm and fed while they waited for power to be restored.

Solomon Nasook, the chairperson of the district education authority, said the school has a generator, kitchen and bathrooms and they welcomed people to come by.

Nasook said the outage affected half the community.

The outages came as a spell of cold weather has been sweeping parts of the Kivalliq and Baffin regions of Nunavut. Environment Canada had extreme cold warnings in place Wednesday for Chesterfield Inlet, Kugaaruk, Taloyoak, Rankin Inlet and Whale Cove.

In some communities, like Rankin Inlet, there have been other power concerns. QEC has been asking everyone there for weeks to conserve power so it could do emergency repairs to its generator engines.

This also isn’t the first time Sanirajak has weathered a lengthy power outage in sub-zero temperatures. Last winter, the community went without power for days as crews worked to fix the power plant.

And in 2020, the community declared a local state of emergency after a winter storm knocked out power to parts of the community.

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