Dang is it Cold Out There!

After a blistering hot summer us people in Manitoba must now face the cruel reality of our geographical circumstances. We must batten down the hatches and face the cold northern weather stoically and with audacious fortitude.

The first day of fall and the thermometer almost hits the freezing mark. Cold drizzle with intermittent snow pellets blasted by harsh north winds. Damn summer ends way too fast up here.

The Library Park Mist Fountain Blasted by the Winds

Crystal City Grain Elevator Fire

A devastating fire tore through Crystal City, Manitoba on Monday evening, reducing a grain elevator to ash and severely damaging a hardware store.

A 31-year-old man is recovering in hospital after sustaining burns. He was airlifted to the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg and is in stable condition, a STARS helicopter service spokesperson said. Police say the man was working at the elevator at the time of the blaze.

An RCMP spokesperson said officers from the Crystal City detachment responded to the fire at around 6 p.m., after a caller reported reported hearing an explosion and seeing fire coming from the top of the elevator.

crystal6

crystal8

The fire spread to the Cudmore Bros. Hardware building as well, which is around two blocks away from where the elevator was ablaze.

crystal9

crystal

crystal3

crystal1

crystal2

crystal5

crystal4

crystal10

 

Ice Road Truckers to the Rescue

Ice road to Churchill complete; goods to arrive by Wednesday

The town of Churchill will be getting an early Christmas present this year.

A winter road link has been completed between Gillam and the northern community that lost its rail line in the spring due to severe flooding.

The distance from Gillam to Churchill is 300 kms or 175 miles.

ice roadzzz

The ice road was a joint project between Polar Industries, Fox Lake Cree Nation and Churchill’s Remote Area Services.

ice-road-pic

“The guys finished up late [Thursday] night and they’re on their way back out to Gillam so we can start our actual journey with freight on Sunday,” explained Polar Industries president Mark Kohaykewych. Polar Industries is featured on the popular TV series ‘Ice Road Truckers’.

“We’re doing a spiritual, traditional ceremony since we are crossing Fox Lake traditional land. We’ve been accepting a lot of freight the last week and the trucks are leaving to head up to Gillam for Sunday afternoon.”

Since making the announcement that the ice road would be built, Kohaykewych has continually stated he hoped the road would be ready for Christmas. Thanks to no huge snow dumps and cold conditions, the road is ready, though not for huge truckloads.

“We’re just starting off with two, we don’t want to go too heavy on this first journey. We definitely want the ground to harden up and we don’t want to be busting through any rivers or damaging any ice bridges that we’ve created,” Kohaykewych said. “We’re splitting the load between three cat trains, 20,000 pounds a piece.”

Cat Trains

ice roads1

ice roadss

The ice road was necessitated by the loss of the rail line, which is still nowhere near ready to be used again. The very public battle between OmniTrax, which owns the line, and the federal government has been taken to court.

In the meantime, the ice road will be used to take much needed supplies to the remote northern town through the winter months.

“We’re cross-docking off of the transport trucks onto sleighs that we’ve manufactured and then pulling them with what the general public would know as dozers or cat trains,” Kohaykewych said. “I’m figuring we should be on the road between 30-36 hours.”

ice roadss1

Cat train in Alaska below

ice roadss2

Churchill is known as the Polar Bear Capital of the World. It also has its own trains associated with Polar Bear tourism. The Tundra Buggy trains.

ice roads