State of emergency in N.W.T. town

Norman Wells, N.W.T., is seen from the air in this file photo. (Wikimedia Commons/mattcatpurple/HO)

Norman Wells, N.W.T., is seen from the air in this file photo. (Wikimedia Commons/mattcatpurple/HO)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:02 PM ET

The town of Norman Wells, N.W.T., declared a state of emergency Monday after an early morning power outage caused an interruption to the town's natural gas service as the temperatures dip below -40 C.

At about 3 a.m. local time, the Imperial Oil oilfield in Norman Wells experienced a power outage that affected the company's oil field operations as well as its processing facility, which also provides electricity and natural-gas service for the town, company spokesman Pius Rolheiser said.

The company is working to restart its field and plant facilities, but in the meantime, the town is operating on a backup electrical generator.

Most residences in the town are heated by natural gas, though essential-service buildings, including the school and hospital, use heating oil.

The town has designated places in town where people can go if they get cold.

At 1 p.m. local time, the temperature in Norman Wells was -41 C, according to Environment Canada.


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