Tuktoyaktuk school turned into shelter as storm hits

Residents of Tuktoyaktuk were invited to use a local school as a warming shelter as a powerful winter storm hit several of the NWT’s Arctic coastal communities.

The storm brought powerful winds and blowing snow to Tuktoyaktuk, Paulatuk, Sachs Harbour, and Ulukhaktok overnight on Saturday into Sunday. Tuk registered winds of more than 90 km/h.

Jackie Jacobson, the MLA for all four communities, described a power outage in Tuktoyaktuk as the community’s Mangilaluk School was opened to help residents without power warm up. Outdoor temperatures on Sunday morning were around -20C.


“Please be safe,” Jacobson posted online, urging residents to check on elderly relatives.

According to Jacobson, Shane Thompson – the minister responsible for the NWT Power Corporation – said a line crew was being dispatched as soon as possible on Sunday to begin work on repairs.

“He stated that there are damaged lines in the community from debris and it’s more serious than they first thought,” Jacobson told residents. Power outages had begun on Saturday night.

As of midday on Sunday, Environment Canada was forecasting blizzard conditions to continue until later that evening.

“Strong westerly winds, gusting to 90 km/h, continue to produce widespread blizzard conditions with poor visibility in snow and blowing snow,” read a federal forecast published shortly before noon.


“Blizzard conditions will end by this evening for all regions as the winds weaken.

“Travel is expected to be extremely hazardous due to reduced visibility. Avoid outdoor activities.”