Frigid temperatures cause issues across the Maritimes
Published Sunday, January 13, 2019 6:37PM AST
A cold snap across the Maritimes has caused a number of problems, especially for motorists and water crews in the Halifax area.
Halifax Water crews spent the afternoon fixing a broken water main on Herring Cove Road, the second of three breaks in the Municipality in just 24 hours.
“The winter season is the season of the water main break because of the cold weather,” says James Campbell, spokesperson for the Halifax Regional Water Commission. “We’re having a real cold snap, we have for quite a number of days. This is not uncommon so we have a system in place that when there’s a main water break, there’s always crews there to respond.”
Crews were also on the job overnight Saturday in the Fairview area, fixing a busted pipe, and a third water main break in Cole Harbour had crews working throughout Sunday afternoon.
Only a few customers were affected by the water shut offs, but officials say patience is always appreciated.
“It’s extremely cold conditions,” explains Campbell. “They’re in the dark, it’s wet in the trench, so just be patient, know they’re out there doing the best they can.”
And they’re not the only ones feeling the effects of the low temperatures this weekend.
Roadside assistance says the number of calls skyrockets when the mercury drops.
“Probably more than double,” says Mark Wilkinson of CAA Emergency Roadside Assistance. “It affects the number of boosts that we do, it affects right down to tire changes and the amount of people that are hitting potholes.”
Wilkinson says his crew could easily see more than 200 service calls in a day, mostly for dead batteries. He says the trick to avoiding a breakdown is taking care of the car, because you can’t control the cold.
“There’s all kinds of reasons why a battery fails, but there’s nothing you can do about the cold weather,” says Wilkinson.
Despite the frigid temperatures, the weather has actually improved over the weekend.
On Saturday, the low temperature in Halifax was -11 degrees, but wind gusts of up to 45 km/h made it feel like -22.
By Sunday, temperatures had warmed up slightly, with a low of -12, and sunshine throughout the day.
Skaters at Halifax’s Emera Oval took full advantage of the relative calm, with most saying they weren’t bothered by the cold temperatures.
“It’s gorgeous, you just got to walk around keep warm, just keep moving,” said one skater.
“It’s crisp and it’s sunny, it’s clear and it’s cold… it’s winter!” said another.
A point well taken on a frigid January day.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Emily Baron Cadloff.