Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Iqaluit November 26, 2012 - 10:47 am

Iqaluit’s first bad snow storm of 2012 leads to near shut down

Start-up of major education conference faced with delay

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
A taxi makes its way along Iglulik Drive in Iqaluit Nov. 26, in the midst of a snow storm that at times led to limited visibility, especially in more elevated areas exposed to higher winds. The City of Iqaluit shut down, cancelling snow removal and trucked water-sewage service until later. The Government of Nunavut and many other employers also shut down, although people and vehicles continued to move in the more sheltered parts of town. All incoming flights appear to be cancelled. Environment Canada's weather forecast predicts the storm will clear by midnight, with high winds and sunny skies Nov. 27. (PHOTO BY JIM BELL)
A taxi makes its way along Iglulik Drive in Iqaluit Nov. 26, in the midst of a snow storm that at times led to limited visibility, especially in more elevated areas exposed to higher winds. The City of Iqaluit shut down, cancelling snow removal and trucked water-sewage service until later. The Government of Nunavut and many other employers also shut down, although people and vehicles continued to move in the more sheltered parts of town. All incoming flights appear to be cancelled. Environment Canada's weather forecast predicts the storm will clear by midnight, with high winds and sunny skies Nov. 27. (PHOTO BY JIM BELL)

(updated)

At 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 26, Environment Canada’s website said weather conditions in Iqaluit included light snow with blowing snow and wind gusts up to 70 kilometres per hour, leading to zero visibility at times.

But the near blizzard-like conditions in the city were enough to provoke an abrupt shut-down of most services shortly before 9 a.m.

However, the city’s schools had already opened for the day, with the exception of Nanook School in Apex, where the school had not opened due to a lack of water.

The early cancellation prompted more than one parent to comment on Facebook to say that the schools should have never opened to begin with.

While buses left to return the children back to their homes, at least one bus ran into trouble, struggling to drive up to the Road to Nowhere subdivision.

Some parents scrambled to leave work and pick up their children in their vehicles.

At the same time, the City of Iqaluit also pulled all its snow plows off the roads and shut down.

Daycares, Government of Nunavut offices, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. and some busineses also closed.

Qikiqtani General Hospital stayed open for emergency services only.

The airport runway at the Iqaluit airport announced its closure until at least 8:30 p.m.

Due to the weather and closures around the city, the GN was forced to announce that the evening opening of its Circumpolar Conference on Education for Indigenous People would be postponed.

About 125 delegates and speakers from Sweden, Norway, Greenland, Alaska, Nunavik, Nunatsiavut, Northwest Territories and Nunavut were expected to arrive in Iqaluit Nov. 26 to participate in the education conference.

Public information session on seismic testing in Baffin Bay, scheduled for the evening of Nov. 26 in Apex, was also postponed due to weather.

The City of Iqaluit advised residents early on Nov. 26 that there would be no water or sewer truck services due to bad weather.

“The City Hall is also closed until further notice, We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Please conserve water at this time. Some ways you can conserve water is by taking smaller baths or not at all, take shorter showers, [and] do not use dishwashers,” was the City of Iqaluit’s advice.

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