Cold snap, high winds delay travel and create hardship for homeless
Highs winds, blowing snow and freezing temperatures closed some schools Monday and snarled travel again.
The temperature by mid-afternoon in Sydney on Monday hovered around -10 C, but factor in the wind and it felt much colder.
“It’s still pretty cold, yeah she's cold,” said Phillip Shaheen. “You have to dress for it and cover your skin.”
In North Sydney, Marine Atlantic ferries have been tied up since Friday. Winds on the southwest coast of Newfoundland are in excess of 100 km/h and seas are approximately eight metres in the Cabot Strait.
The ferry terminal looked more like a parking lot, with truckers waiting for the weather to break.
“I spent eight years on the North Atlantic on tankers,” said trucker Bryant Brown. “If the old man don't want to go, don't go. You ain't going to swim 120 miles in the North Atlantic.”
The extreme weather means big business for local hotels, but their guests are getting restless.
“Yeah, they're getting pretty tired of waiting,” said hotel manager Brittany Tobin. “Hopefully they'll get out tomorrow, but they're still saying weather permitting.”
The wind and snow also shut down schools north of Smokey and closed the Canso causeway to hide-sided vehicles for much of the day.
In Halifax, St. Matthew's Church on Barrington Street is being used as a warming centre and is open until 8:30 p.m. to allow people shelter from the bitter cold.
“If you're living outside, it really sucks to be in this kind of weather,” said Eric Johnsson, the warming centre co-ordinator. “It's really important, when thinking about people living on the streets to really think about affordable housing and how much more we need for folks, because nobody should have to be outside in this kind of weather.”
But some people choose to be outside. The Oval is usually a busy spot, but there was lots of space on the ice Monday.
“We like the space on the ice,” said Karen and Edward Kosendowski. “It stays good for the whole skate. We have a goal this year, we want to hit 40 skates, so I think 37 is the highest. Today we are on our 30th skate for the year.”
Back in Sydney, the cold weather is having an impact on food banks. If the weather continues to stay like this, they expect an increase in demand.
“A lot of them use up their cheque in order to buy oil to keep their home warm,” said Carmen Hood of the North Sydney Food Bank.
Deciding to stay warm or go hungry is a choice officials at the food bank say many people are having to make with much of the Maritimes in a deep freeze.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore.