High winds over two days caused roof damage around Rankin Inlet earlier this month and tore away a large section of the roof from the Nunavut Tunngavik Ltd. (NTI) building.

Winds were clocked at gusting past 100 km/h at various times on Sept. 10 and 11 during the height of the blow.

Debris from the NTI roof forced the partial closure of two roads in the community and all three schools temporarily shut their doors out of safety concerns for their students.

Darrell Greer/NNSL photo
Winds gusting more than 100 km/h caused significant damage to dwellings in Rankin Inlet earlier this month, including the roof of the Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. building.

Fire Chief Mark Wyatt said the department assisted the RCMP in closing the roads.

He said the action had to be taken to ensure public safety in the area.

“Material was coming off of the roof pretty good at that time, with large chunks of Styrofoam insulation blowing around everywhere,” said Wyatt.

Workers fix a roof after winds gusting more than 100 km/h battered Rankin Inlet for two days earlier this month. Darrell Greer/NNSL photo

“One whole side of the roof kept lifting up from the wind, so there was a threat of even bigger stuff starting to come down and blow around.

“It was pretty dangerous for a while, so we blocked the roads with trucks and, then, working with Blaine Chislett (Sakku Properties Ltd) and M&T, seacans were put in place to keep them blocked until the winds died down and we deemed the area safe to allow traffic to go back in.

“The cans were placed in very well-lit areas, with the ones in front of Uminmuk having reflectors placed in front of them for higher visibility.”

Chislett said, in his opinion, the actual construction of the NTI building’s roof was “a little on the sour side” of what he’d expected, but things were now on the mend.

“The roof has been patched over and fixed-up for the time being, and everything is back to normal inside of the building,” he said.

“I have the roof package ordered, and I expect it to arrive here on the barge around Oct. 13, but we had to go through the engineer to make sure everything was fine and dandy with it.”

Chislett said he’s surprised this type of damage didn’t happen to the NTI building years ago. He said the current roof would be well below the standard of today’s building code.

“We’re looking at about $30,000 as the cost for preventative measures, but, in total, with the new roof package, we’re looking at a cost of around $200,000.”

Darrell Greer

Darrell Greer is Editor of Kivalliq News