A transport truck, right, following a collision with power poles in Fort Providence. Photo: Submitted
Northland Utilities says it has restored power to “most of Fort Providence” after an outage caused by a transport truck halted gas sales for hours.
On an ordinary day, that would inconvenience most travellers along Highway 3, where Fort Providence forms a key refuelling point.
On this particular Tuesday, the power outage – and loss of gas sales in the community – had the potential to disrupt the return of hundreds of essential workers heading back to Yellowknife after its three-week evacuation ends.
At lunchtime on Tuesday, a transport truck struck multiple power poles and triggered a community-wide outage.
Sales at the Big River Service Centre, the best-known of the three fuel stations in Fort Providence, were immediately paused.
“Power to most of Fort Providence was restored by 5pm,” Northland Utilities, the local power distributor, wrote just before 6pm on Tuesday.
“Power remains off in the area near the damaged lines (behind Northern Store) affecting 10 customers as we work on the repairs.
“We expect power to be fully restored to the impacted area in approximately six hours.”
Whether any of the three fuel stations are still affected was not immediately clear.
Most evacuees returning from Alberta by car are expected to pass through the community on Wednesday or later. Yellowknife formally reopens to residents from Wednesday at noon, with essential workers (as designated by the city) allowed back earlier.
Photos posted on social media showed the transport truck had struck several power poles. Northland Utilities confirmed the truck was the cause of the outage.
RCMP said there were no reported injuries and police were on scene conducting traffic control.
Big River is one of three options for gas in Fort Providence. The others are the Northern store and Snowshoe Inn cardlock.