Hopedale declares state of emergency

Colin MacLean
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Low water pressure creates worry that pipes will freeze

The Town of Hopedale has declared a state of emergency because of low pressure in its waterlines which may cause them to freeze.

Wayne Piercy is the AngajukKak - the equivalent of mayor - for the coastal Labrador town.

He told The Telegram Friday the problem has been going on for about two weeks.

"We declared a state of emergency because we only have 37 psi (pounds per square inch) in the system and we usually run just over 100 psi," he said.

"At this point we're trying to set up a couple of pumps so we can get the water flowing from one pond to the next in order to replenish the main reservoir," Piercy added. "But just because of the weather conditions and the system that we've got, the line that ... goes from the pond to (a) six-inch insulated pipe keeps freezing."

Piercy said people still have some water, but have little pressure, especially at the higher points of town.

Because the town is worried that the pipes in people's homes may freeze if the water isn't flowing fast enough and at a regular volume, Hopedale is asking residents to keep their taps running.

Piercy said people from the provincial Department of Municipal Affairs visited Hopedale Friday morning to do some checks, but at the time of the interview there was "no material support from the province or federal government."

But he said the Vale mine at Voisey's Bay has sent a five-horsepower pump to the town, which it's attempting to hook up to move water from one pond to the next.

Hopedale is also getting help from a number of nearby towns.

"Rigolet has sent us 400 feet of fire hose, Natuashish has sent us a fire pump (and) Nain is in the process of sending us a fire pump and hose," Piercy said.

It's unclear how long the state of emergency may last.



Organizations: Department of Municipal Affairs

Geographic location: Hopedale, Labrador

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