A State of Local Emergency (SOLE) in Prince Rupert has been declared over after a week of city crews scrambling to keep up with numerous water main and service breaks due to the aged infrastructure failing in the freezing temperatures.
The City of Prince Rupert issued a press release on Dec. 24 stating the SOLE expired and it will not be renewed. However, Emergency Operations Centre staff remain on standby in case conditions change.
When the SOLE expired, the city decided not to renew it as the existing breaks were under control, Veronika Stewart communications Managers stated.
In total, over the week-long emergency more than five water main breaks, 18 combined city and residents service breaks and one gas leak occurred.
The State of Local Emergency was called on Dec. 17 after a number of water mains and service breaks, leaving residents and businesses in the community without running water.
Entering into a State of Local Emergency allowed the city to request help and financial assistance from the provincial and federal governments.
“Prince Rupert has a challenging situation on its hands because of the age and condition of our infrastructure, and we are working as hard as possible to obtain some help towards sustainable solutions,” Herb Pond, mayor said.
“We want to extend our extreme gratitude to the staff and contractors who have been working day in and day out to keep water flowing in Prince Rupert,” he said. “We also want to thank the community for its patience while we manage this situation, and our local MLA Jennifer Rice for her support in advocating for Prince Rupert to her colleagues in the Provincial and Federal governments.”
“With winter conditions in full swing, we continue to recommend residents to run their taps at a slow drip, to have an emergency water supply available (four litres per person, per household for a 72-hour period), and to clear snow from the sidewalk in front of your properties. If you are able, it’s also always appreciated to lend a hand to neighbours in need,” the city stated.
Kaitlyn Bailey | Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
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