Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Record-breaking cold in western Canada ends year of peak

A temperature inversion is seen against the Downtown Vancouver skyline on December 28, 2021 in Burnaby, BC. The province has broken several temperature records in recent days amid an arctic cold snap.Andrew Chin/Getty Images

Extreme cold in western Canada forced BC Ferries to shut down a ship with frozen pipes and defunct toilets and sent ice-clearing workers home in Edmonton as the wind chill pushed temperatures below -40 C. Gave.

After a year-long record-breaking summer in parts of British Columbia, Environment Canada noted that 22 temperature records were set in British Columbia on Boxing Day, with the provincial record reaching -40.7 at Prince George. More tooth-chattering records were set in BC on Monday as most of the province was shrouded by warnings of extremely cold Arctic outflow.

Only six months earlier, Lytton had recorded the highest temperature ever recorded in Canada at 46.6. By the end of the year, British Columbia had recorded a high-low swing of 86 degrees.

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The cold put workers on high alert in city homeless shelters across western Canada.

“It’s awful,” said Scarlett Björnsson with Edmonton’s Bissell Center. “We are doing business as usual. We are not able to open additional space.”

Ms. Björnsson said people are “cold and hopeless and angry and sad – like any of us who are out in the cold for too long. Not being able to survive the cold is really hard for a person’s mental health.” “

Ms Björnsson is urging people to check on those on the street and in the shadows. “If you see someone suffering from frostbite or hypothermia, call 911.”

“Take a jacket and mittens with you in your car,” she adds, “and if you see someone properly dressed it is up to all of us to take care of our homeless neighbors at this point in time. “

The city of Edmonton has deployed four “warming buses” outside city agencies so people don’t have to wait outside for shelters to open. Buses are sending people to the shelter as soon as they open.

Record-breaking cold in western Canada ends year of peak

Tyrone Severite, a resident of CRAB Park Camp in Vancouver, warms up in a communal space on December 27, 2021.Jennifer Gauthier/Reuters

In Vancouver, additional warming centers were opened, welcoming anyone without shelter to come inside with their pets and carts. A spike in COVID-19 infections means everyone will have to wear masks that will be provided but will not require proof of vaccination and capacity limits imposed by the provincial health official will not apply.

The city also noted that community centers, public libraries and other public buildings are available to shelter those who need to warm up.

The cold wreaked havoc with transportation-sector workers trying to ensure public safety.

The entire province of Alberta remains under an extreme cold warning, with gusts of wind causing temperatures to drop as low as -55 in parts of the province. It was so cold Monday in Edmonton that the city halted non-essential snow removal and moved its workers off the road for their own safety.

“Current temperatures present a significant risk to our employees, equipment and contracted equipment,” the city tweeted.

On Tuesday, BC Ferries announced that it had canceled a sailing on the Tsawasen-Duke Point route “due to cold weather conditions with frozen water pipes, washroom closures and unsafe conditions on the vehicle deck.”

Record-breaking cold in western Canada ends year of peak

Astro Towing operator Nol Halimi pulls an abandoned car at Dieffenbaker Park in Saskatoon on December 28, 2021. The entire province of Saskatchewan is under extreme cold warning.Liam Richards / Photo Liam Richards

BC set a record for peak power demand on BC Hydro’s system on Monday evening. The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO), which operates the provincial power grid, announced that it was operating on reserve energy.

“You can help by turning off your holiday house lights tonight,” AESO suggested in a tweet.

The arctic cold snap is forcing some ski hills to hit the pause button. Sun Peaks Ski Resort and Harper Mountain outside Kamloops have both closed major lifts due to dangerously cold temperatures. Record low temperatures in Alberta have completely shut down Rabbit Hill, Edmonton Ski Club and Snow Valley.

Parts of Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario are also subject to extreme cold weather warnings, with Environment Canada warning some areas to expect breathtakingly cold temperatures until the new year.

We have a weekly Western Canada newsletter, written by our BC and Alberta bureau chiefs, that provides a comprehensive package of the news you need to know about the region and its place in the issues facing Canada. Sign up today,

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Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Deskhttps://nationworldnews.com
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