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City Government

Freezing Temperatures Leave Entire City Without Power


November 19, 2008 – Extreme freezing temperatures are causing damage across Northwestern Ontario, leaving the entire City of Thunder Bay without power due to heavy ice on the lines.

A total of 14 municipalities across the region have now declared an emergency due to the severe weather and requests for assistance from the provincial and federal governments have been made.

Where possible, residents are encouraged to stay in their homes and use emergency supplies and alternative heat sources until power is restored.  For those who have no emergency heat source, the City of Thunder Bay Emergency Operations Control Group (EOC) is working to establish shelters run on generators. Equipment and assistance from the Department of National Defence and Emergency Management Ontario are key parts of the request to assist in the set up of shelters, door-to-door canvassing (as required) and transport of residents to shelters. Additional details will be released as soon as these shelters have been established.

Everyone is asked to stay off roadways unless absolutely necessary to allow emergency responders access to people in need and to reduce potential accident risk. City Road Crews are working at the maximum capacity for the third day and have now pulled qualified staff from other departments to help maintain the roadways for emergency vehicles.

Essential Services
The City of Thunder Bay, Thunder Bay Hydro and TBayTel are all operating on emergency plans and assigning staff to areas of essential services.

City Facilities
The Facilities and Fleet department is operating the generator fueling schedule to power critical City infrastructure including the Bare Point Water Treatment Plant, the Atlantic Avenue Water Pollution Control Plant, Police and Fire Stations.

Safety Information
"Citizens are to be reminded to make every effort to conserve heat in their homes until this severe weather passes and the emergency situation is over," said Greg Hankkio, Deputy Fire Chief. "However, be reminded that using alternative heat sources, such as barbecues, naphtha stoves, etc. is extremely dangerous. Use of devices with open flame in a home drastically increases the danger of fire and creates the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning."

Tune into local radio stations from a battery operated radio for details and updates. If you require emergency assistance call 911 from a cellular phone.

Updates on this emergency situation will be issued as they become available.

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Contact:  Valerie Marasco, Communications Officer, 625-2438, cell: 621-4151

*All information in this release is for the exercise and is not real.