TYSON WHITNEY PHOTO The Port Hardy Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Information Centre flooded due to the failure of a hot water tank that was located upstairs in the storage loft.

Port Hardy’s Visitor Information Centre building could be out of commission until March

“I think I will have a better time estimate when the contractors can get in and get to work.”

It wasn’t poor weather conditions that caused the Port Hardy Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Information Centre to flood.

According to Elizabeth Aman-Hume, Executive Director for the Port Hardy Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Information Centre, their building on Market Street flooded due to the failure of a hot water tank that was located upstairs in the storage loft.

“The flood was discovered the evening of Dec. 31, and I went to the building to meet the District Public Works staff, who had turned off the water and then contacted me,” said Aman-Hume when asked to comment on the issue. “They accompanied me in to the building to ensure my safety so I could have a look — it is unclear how long the flooding had been going on because we were closed for the holidays.”

Aman-Hume noted that most of the damage appears to be contained to the front, not in the addition (where the boardroom and back offices are located). “I am working with the District of Port Hardy (the visitor information centre/chamber of commerce is a District building) on the repairs and with our insurance company regarding damaged contents.”

She added she will also be working with chamber staff to “ensure that we can conduct business during the time it will take to do the repairs. Although nothing is set in stone, we have been asked to prepare for not being able to access the building until March 1 at the earliest.”

While most of their work can be continued with remote offices and borrowed meeting space, “I am also seeking a space for a temporary visitor services kiosk,” Aman-Hume stated. “Ideally this should be located as close to the Visitor Centre building as possible. We have become more mobile from developing our roaming ‘ask a local’ campaign last year, so if we can find a centrally located spot we can set up just about anywhere (even a space within an existing business willing to share) and ensure that we continue to deliver essential visitor services.”

As for the building itself, Aman-Hume pointed out the process has already begun to dry out the building and then repair the damage. “I think I will have a better time estimate when the contractors can get in and get to work. I want to express my sincere thanks to Bruce and Joe from the District of Port Hardy for their care and concern during this unfortunate incident. Not the best way to spend New Year’s Eve for any of us, and they were very supportive and helpful.”

Anyone with questions is welcome to contact Aman-Hume by email at manager@porthardychamber.com.

– with files from Port Hardy Visitor Information Centre


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