Fort Providence’s Big River and Snowshoe Inn gas stations lost power on Friday, warning drivers the community was unable to provide fuel.
Linda Croft, the Big River gas station’s acting manager, told Cabin Radio an incident involving a truck damaging a power line caused a community-wide blackout at around 1:30pm on Friday.
The Snowshoe Inn confirmed it, too, was unable to serve gas as of 3pm on Friday.
The inn, restaurant, coffee shop, and grocery store remain open with power as they operate from a separate power source.
“It’s very important it gets out there because we’re turning people away, there’s people parked out there who have no gas and there’s no way for us to get them gas,” Croft said.
Fort Providence is a vital stop for many travellers heading to or from Yellowknife and southern Canada, with no gas for some 200 km to the north, 100 km to the southeast, or 300 km to the southwest.
Ross Stanley, manager of Northland Utilities in Hay River, confirmed the outage. He said a crew was expected to reach Fort Providence by 6pm.
The community’s power plant has been shut down for safety reasons until the crew arrives.
“We’ve dispatched our line crew to go up and take a look, assess it, make it safe to turn the power back on to what we can, and then fix the pole,” Stanley said.
Croft said Big River has locked up for the time being and staff will return in a few hours.