NEWS

Iqaluit's Happy Valley returning to normal after 42-hour lockdown

05/01/2015 07:28 EDT | Updated 05/01/2016 05:12 EDT
A day after a tense police standoff ended peacefully in Iqaluit's Happy Valley, residents are slowly getting back to normal life.

For more than 40 hours, police had the neighbourhood in lockdown while an armed standoff was underway. Some neighbourhood residents were trapped at home, while police roadblocks kept others from returning to the neighbourhood. The standoff that began on Tuesday finally ended Thursday morning when police took a man into custody.

"It just felt like something that didn't belong in this community," says Craig Dunphy, who watched and heard the drama unfold from his Happy Valley home. He says he saw nothing but police officers, for days. 

"At times they'd be crouching here with their guns, and other ones would be over there with their guns," Dunphy says.

Another neighbour, Joy Tilley, couldn't make it to her home. She and her family stayed with her sister while the standoff continued. She worried about her four dogs back home, as well as the turkey she had left in the oven.

Tilley says when word came on Thursday that she and her family could finally go home, "we went wild."

"As soon as the bylaw said 'Okay, you can go,' we practically ran," she says. She found her dogs shaken and hungry. 

RCMP were able to help her out with the turkey. 

"They went into the back door and then they turned [the oven] off," Tilley said. "They took the turkey out." 

Need to 'decompress'

The city's acting mayor, Romeyn Stevenson, says the stress has been difficult, even traumatic, for some residents.

"Some of those people will and already have said, 'we need help to talk about that and work through and decompress,'" Stevenson says.

"The place for that is the mental health offices of the Government of Nunavut, or the hospital," Stevenson says. "From there, the appropriate people will be seeing to them."

Many residents have thanked the RCMP and the city for working around the clock to keep people safe during the standoff.

A 20-year-old man is now in police custody. Police have not said whether charges will be laid against him.

RCMP have scheduled a news conference for Friday afternoon to talk about the incident.​

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