Saturday, December 17, 2022

City of Prince Rupert declares State of Local Emergency due to Escalating Water Breaks

The City of Prince Rupert facing an escalation of water main and water service breaks in the last week has declared a Local State of Emergency, the Mayor and Council meeting in an Emergency Session on Saturday to make the declaration.

In an information release this evening Mayor Herb Pond outlined what that means for the public

“We don’t want to alarm the community, and are working to manage the situation as best we can to ensure continuity in our water service. “Calling a State of Local Emergency allows the City to call in the additional capacity and resources required to manage this situation.”

In additional information the City notes:

The escalation of water main and water service breaks combined with the condition of the City’s water distribution system and increasingly colder temperatures forecast over the next 6 days presents a significant risk for additional water main breaks, and potential complications with water service delivery. 

Calling of the Local State of Emergency is a preparatory step to ensure that the City can respond to any additional water main and water service breaks during this time. To ensure adequate capacity is available if needed, the City is arranging for contractors to assist in the event our own crews are unable to respond to additional breaks, given City crews may be extended beyond their capacity. 

Declaring a State of Local Emergency will also enable the City to call on help from the Provincial government and request financial assistance to assist in paying for extraordinary costs. The City has activated its Emergency Operations Centre and updates will be provided to the community as available.

Towards measures for residents of the community the City outlined the following:

Although the City is taking these steps to avoid disruptions in service, it is always recommended that community members have 4L of water per person in your household on hand as a part of emergency kits. The City is also requesting that community members run their taps at a slow drip to prevent freezing of the taps in your homes, as City resources will be stretched in responding to water shut off requests during this time.

The City's Resolution from the Afternoon Emergency Session reads as thus:

click to enlarge

The full city information release, which you can review here, includes background on the city's recent challenges related to infrastructure.

You can also review what the Council members and City Manager Rob Buchan said in their Special Council Session of Saturday afternoon, those notes are available here.

The most recent incident towards the City's water infrastructure occurred this week in the Crestview area.

More notes on the expanding list of infrastructure challenges can be reviewed here.

We will update the situation should further information be released by the City.

We have created an archive to follow the ongoing challenges and areas of concern for the City. As well as to note of any media coverage to the Local State of Emergency.

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