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Trouble in Nain with food deliveries, telecommunications

Nain — Courtesy of the Nunatsiavut Government
Nain — Courtesy of the Nunatsiavut Government
NAIN, N.L. —

In a span of less than two weeks, the community of Nain has seen its share of hardships.

A number of residents have been without running water for more than 10 days.

Bad weather has prevented fresh produce deliveries for a week.

And there’s been no Bell Aliant phone or Internet service since Saturday, Aug. 3.

Due to the foggy weather that has plagued Nain and other north coast communities for seven days, the stores have much less healthy products to offer their customers.\

“We haven’t had any supplies, like fresh produce or milk or anything that’s usually supplied on a weekly basis. The shelves are empty. There’s no bread…no butter,” said Nain’s AngajukKak, Joe Dicker, who did an interview via satellite phone.

“You’d never predict it could go on this long. It’s been crazy.”

Dicker was hopeful the fog would start to break and planes would be able to travel in and out of the community soon.

“As we speak the sun just broke through the clouds here. The first time we’ve seen the sun in seven or eight days.”

Air Borealis made a public post on Wednesday, Aug. 7, asking people to be patient once flights could finally resume.

“At this point we have seven days of passenger bookings, seven days of cargo and seven days of charter bookings all on our books to be completed,” the company wrote. “Naturally it will not be possible to complete all the activities that we have on the books to be completed in one day of flying activities.

“I want to assure our customers that we have a full Team that is engaged as we work through this situation and we will get this done. The weather is now improving at a couple locations along the North Coast and we will operate. Passengers, Cargo and Charters will be moved as long as the good weather continues.”

The uncooperative weather compounded another big problem in the community. There had been no Bell Aliant phone or internet service for several days, and repair crews hadn’t been able to fly into Nain. Since then, the community relied on satellite phones and people who use Xplornet internet.

“We’re fortunate here that the Northern Store here has their own (satellite) dish and their debit machines are working and their ATM is working,” said Dicker. “Other than that, there’s no other way you can do shopping by card.”

Dicker said a helicopter carrying a repair crew was waiting in Hopedale for the weather to clear in Nain. Not long after Dicker’s interview with The Labrador Voice, the weather cleared and the Bell Aliant crew was able to restore phone and internet to the community.

On top of all the other problems in the northern Labrador town, dozens of residents haven’t had running water for more than 10 days. Dicker says the cause of that was a major break in a water main .

“(The water) was coming out so fast that it started to corrode the road. There’s a hydro pole on that road and there was a possibility that… the line would come down and the whole community would be in danger of having no power or somebody could get hurt,” explained Dicker.

“So for safety issues we had to cut the water off over there.”

The community government in Nain has supplied drinking water to affected residents, as well as containers of water for flushing toilets and cleaning. Dicker was hoping that by Friday, Aug 9, the leak would be fixed.

derek.montague@thelabradorvoice.ca

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