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‘We’re stilling feeling the effects’: Carry The Kettle renews call for water donations

After fire tore through Carry The Kettle First Nation in February, the community has begun the process of rebuilding, something that could take up to 24 months. Derek Putz / Global News

After a fire tore through the water treatment facility on Carry The Kettle Nakota Nation back in February, the community has begun the process of rebuilding.

While water has been restored to the nearly 1,500 impacted residents, the community remains under a boil water advisory.

“People are still able to wash their clothes, shower, clean the house, any of the home necessities,” band Coun. Shawn Spencer said. “People have been hauling jugs and bottles of water to all the homes on a daily basis throughout the days. There are constant calls coming in from people requiring more water.”

Spencer added the water supply is depleting, prompting a renewed call for donations which are being accepted at the community hall. A GoFundMe page has also raised close to $1,600.

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“We’re down to approximately 1,000 gallons of water, so we have been reaching out to our partners around our community to help some more if they can,” Spencer said. “We’re looking at cleaning our holding tanks within the next day or so, so they will be cleaned and ready for potable water to be distributed to the tanks.”

The massive fire broke out on Feb. 25, destroying the water treatment facility and forcing nearby residents to evacuate from their homes.

Wolseley’s fire department said they were called to the scene at about 9:30 p.m. and were the only crews on scene during the fire.

Officials said they wrapped up shortly before 2 a.m. as the fire was smouldering – leaving the File Hill Fire Department to monitor it.

While no other structures were destroyed, Spencer said the outpouring of support since that day has brought the community closer together.

“We have a lot of community members who have gone out of their way, taken time out of their day to come and help haul water, unload water, continuously throughout the day,” Spencer said.

“We want to thank those people for coming in. A lot of unification has developed in our community since the disaster and I just want to say thank to you everyone who is pulling us through this.”

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In terms of when the facility will be rebuilt, Spencer said while the process has begun, there are steps that need to be taken before that can happen.

“It’s got to meet specific regulations, it’s not as easy as you would think- there’s a process that has to take place,” Spencer said.

“So, they figure 18-to-24 months. Right now we are using our very own guys to do the cleanup and clearing up the site and we will open up for tender for companies to submit to help rebuild the water treatment facility.”

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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