Food shortage relief in Churchill as train arrives Monday
Extreme weather has left grocery store shelves bare in the town of Churchill after shipments of food were unable to get through. (Photo: Lana Bilenduke)
Cameron MacLean, CTV Winnipeg
Published Monday, March 20, 2017 3:11PM CST
Last Updated Monday, March 20, 2017 5:42PM CST
A food shortage in the town of Churchill caused by extreme weather got some relief Monday, as the first train in nearly three weeks arrived.
Monday morning, Deputy Mayor Shane Hutchins said the town received word from OmniTrax, the company that owns the railway, that they had cleared snow off the tracks.
The train is carrying perishable items including milk, vegetables, bread and meat, which have been in short supply recently.
“Hopefully we’ll return to some sense of normalcy tomorrow morning,” said Hutchins.
The Town of Churchill declared a local state of emergency after a blizzard last week. They were just beginning to dig themselves out when another storm blew in, bringing zero visibility and winds up to 90 kilometres per hour.
A plane carrying food into the community was unable to land Sunday night due to the storm.
“We couldn’t have gone on much longer in terms of doing without, without it becoming critical to the community. Right now, I think it’s more of an inconvenience than it is life-threatening,” said Hutchins.
By Monday afternoon, the winds began to die down. Hutchins said he could see his neighbour’s house across the street.
The blizzard and food shortage also began to take a toll on the residents of Churchill, said Hutchins.
“It’s a little hard on the psyche after a while to be in a blizzard for that extended period of time, so I think that nerves are pretty raw, pretty frazzled around here.”
The town was forced to take its heavy equipment off the roads due to the storm. They’ll resume a 24-hour cycle in two, 12-hour shifts, in order to get roads clear again.