Manitobans brave frigid temperatures, wind chill warnings
Published Monday, January 21, 2013 4:37PM CST
Last Updated Monday, January 21, 2013 6:42PM CST
Wind chill warnings were in effect Jan. 21 for Winnipeg and parts of southern Manitoba.
The Salvation Army was putting out an extra 35 emergency beds Monday night, to give them about 100 available spots at its downtown shelter.
Officials said they will also accommodate people that other shelters are unable to accept.
With the wind chill, the temperature felt like -40, or colder, for part of Monday in Winnipeg.
CAA reported wait times of up to six hours for drivers needing a boost.
By 2 p.m. Monday, CAA had helped 744 vehicles around Winnipeg, setting a new service record.
CAA also urged drivers to have an emergency kit.
For workers who are normally outside, the Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba said employers must have a plan in place to deal with extreme weather conditions.
“You have to have a place to warm up. You have to take breaks. You need to be dressed appropriately. You need to adapt what you're doing and how you're doing to accommodate these conditions in order to work safely,” said Warren Preece from the WCB.
Late Monday afternoon, the City of Winnipeg said the extremely cold weather was posing issues for garbage and recycling collection.
The city said warm-up breaks are required to protect the health and safety of workers, particularly those working with semi-automated garbage and recycling collection.
Crews will be working later than normal Monday night and possible later through the week to catch up, if the weather remains cold.
The city said the frigid temperatures were also slowing the hydraulics of some collection vehicles and causing some vehicle breakdowns.
“Residents are advised to leave their carts or bins out past the usual time for collection. If carts or bins are not emptied by the end of their scheduled collection day, leave them out and they will be emptied the following day,” said the city.
The City of Winnipeg also said about 100 parking paystations were not functioning on Monday for a number of reasons, including servicing and regular upgrades.
“A very low percentage of today’s downed paystations are down due to the cold,” said a city spokesperson.
Drivers are asked to find the next closest functioning paystation in order to pay for parking, said the city.
“Where a series of paystations in close proximity are showing out of order our compliance officers are instructed to exercise discretion in enforcing payment,” said a city spokesperson.
Some of the wind chill warnings were lifted for central Manitoba Monday afternoon, but many warnings remained in place. Environment Canada listed the warnings on its website.
The extreme wind chill could continue into Tuesday.
“We see a gradient redevelop so there's a very good chance that we see wind chill values repeating again at these warning criteria during the day tomorrow,” said Natalie Hassel from Environment Canada on Monday.
The Winnipeg Humane Society advised people to protect their pets against frostbite.
The WHS said if your pet needs exercise, you can still take them outside – just for shorter periods of time.
If you think your pet has frostbite, take them to a vet.
Officials also advised not to use hot water to remedy frostbite and to instead use room temperature water, gradually warming the affected area.