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Prince Rupert’s state of emergency enters fifth day

More contractors have been called in assist with more service breaks
A water main break on Frist Ave. East is being repaired on Dec. 20, after the City of Prince Rupert declared a local state of emergency four days prior due to infrastructure emergencies stretching resources and city maintenance workers. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

The Prince Rupert State of Emergency continues into its fifth day on Dec. 21, with water main breaks and more service interruptions.

Eight active service leaks, which are from the city main line to the residence or business and three main breaks were reported by the City of Prince in a Dec. 20 afternoon update.

The water main breaks are located at Crestview, 7th Ave East and 1st Avenue East, affecting both residences and businesses.

The City of Prince Rupert advises of potential traffic impacts in neighbourhoods and downtown due to ongoing road closures and continued maintenance repairs.

“Although the City does our best to inform the community about these disruptions, we ask that due to slippery road conditions and limited visibility during evening repairs, that drivers are especially conscientious about potential construction,” the media statement reads.

“The city also now has three contractors assisting with repairs, as well as two sub-contractors, alongside the city’s own 24-hour rotating crews. Additional resources have been offered by Port Edward, and we thank them for their offer of help during the holiday season.”

While the trend of breakages in the ageing infrastructure was on the decline, the city stated the overall picture shows that local capacity continues to be stretched thin.

“[This] means the Local State of Emergency remains in effect to ensure that we can adequately respond to water infrastructure issues,” the city stated.

Emergency personnel are aware the situation may increase with more breaks becoming evident once the forecasted climate temperatures reach above zero degrees next week. Damage to pipes can occur with the thawing of the ground and the subsequent shifting of pipes.

“Our Emergency Operations Centre is actively monitoring the situation, regular updates will continue to be provided, and the need to continue the Local State of Emergency will be assessed based on emerging conditions.”

“As we stated in our original release, although the City is taking these steps to avoid disruptions in service, it is always recommended that community members have four litres of water per person in your household for a 72-hour period, on hand as a part of emergency kits. This water does not need to be store-bought but can be filled from your taps, as there is no quality advisory currently in place,” the city reminded residents in the update.

Homeowners are asked to keep a tap running to prevent freezing. Patience with city staff and work crews is appreciated as they work on other issues as well as the issue behind the local state of emergency.

“Given local conditions, we ask that if you call our Customer Service or After Hours numbers, that you do so ONLY for emergency repairs or service. If you experience a water break with city infrastructure in your neighbourhood, evidenced by significantly reduced water pressure and no indication of a break in your home, please call (250) 624 6795 during regular office hours, and (250) 624 3000 after hours (evenings and weekends). If you experience a water break that is known to be in your home, please shut off your water via the shut-off valve in your home and call a plumber directly.”

K-J Millar | Editor and Multimedia Journalist
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