TADOULE LAKE, Man. — A northern Manitoba fly-in community is running low on heating fuel as heavy snow prevents trucks from bringing more.
Sayisi Dene First Nation Chief Tony Powderhorn says the snow has delayed the opening of a winter road that Tadoule Lake counts on for its yearly fuel supply.
The region is in the midst of an intense cold snap and Powderhorn says the fuel is needed to heat more than 100 homes.
Band councillor Clifford Anderson says he’s aware of three homes which have run out of fuel and are relying on wood stoves.
Powderhorn says community leaders are working with Manitoba Hydro, which has diesel tanks in Tadoule Lake, and the local airport to bring in a backup supply of fuel until the winter road opens.
The Manitoba government says the road is expected to open between Feb. 23 and Feb. 28.
“People need fuel and that’s the bottom line,” said Powderhorn. “We live in a very tough environment up there.”
Manitoba Hydro says its diesel tanks are used to store fuel for generators that supply electricity to the community. The utility says residents should be able to access that fuel to heat their homes Tuesday.
Powderhorn said this isn’t the first time Tadoule Lake has run low on fuel, but he said the bitter cold has made the situation more urgent.
Indigenous Services Canada said in a statement it’s aware of the situation and has met with representatives of the First Nation to discuss the issue.
Tadoule Lake resident Caroline Cheekie said she recently had fuel delivered to her house which should last for three months, but not everyone was so lucky.
“From what I heard the tanks are empty,” said Cheekie in a phone interview from Tadoule Lake. “They’re totally right out.”