Prince George residents are staying indoors as much as possible lately, with temperatures almost 20ºC below seasonal averages. Temperatures are forecast to dip below -30ºC with the windchill over the next few days.
The cold is impacting pretty much everything…from schools, to businesses, to organizations.
The Salted Cracker downtown has seen an increase in the amount of soup people are buying. Before noon, the business sold over 100 cups.
“I would definitely expect the momentum to increase, maybe even jump once everyone gets used to the cold weather and they won’t be afraid to leave their homes anymore,” says the Head Chef, Jordan Reinitz.
Since the Fire Pit Cultural Drop-In Centre started it’s extended winter hours, there has been an increase in people seeking shelter and a warm meal.
“When the mornings are cold like this it doesn’t give very many options for the people to go,” says the Manager or the Fire Pit, Robert Ryan. “So they will come in, warm up, they will take part in any one of our breakfast programs; usually it will be a hot breakfast twice a week. On average, we see approximately 75 to 100 people in the morning.”
While schools and buses will not be cancelled because of the weather, students are not expected to wait for buses more than 15 minutes past the scheduled pick-up time. Parents are encouraged to dress their children warmly, however, Principals do have the ability to keep students inside during recess if conditions are bad.
Transportation is another factor to consider. The Owner (and Mechanic) of NAPA AUTOPRO Rivers Edge Services, Bruce Williams, says it is so important to plug vehicles in anytime temperatures get below -10ºC.
“Battery temperature, for one. At -10ºC to -20ºC, they are only at about 50% capacity, which could be very stressful if you go out to work and your car won’t start. Keeping your coolant, antifreeze and oil warm in your vehicles engine is so much less stress on the vehicle to be started at that time. Engine oil turns basically into maple syrup when it gets cold. So if you keep it warm, it will flow good, everything will fire up nice and nothing with break.”
As for flights, schedules are sometimes impacted by the weather on the lower mainland. The Prince George Airport Authority says it’s prepared for poor conditions, and say the snow removal plan is ‘top notch’.