While the extremely cold weather is keeping most Kelowna, B.C., residents inside, some are taking advantage of it.
A trio of friends were out enjoying the empty outdoor ice rink at Stuart Park on Friday.
“The cold doesn’t scare me away,” said Kamil Rogowski. ” I’m from Saskatoon originally, so this is kind of normal winter weather there and we have the rink to ourselves so that’s great.”
But outdoor skating was not on the minds of most people with highs hovering around minus 20 degrees in Kelowna, down to minus 30 with the wind chill.
The frigid temperatures prompted elementary schools including Anne McClymont to keep students inside during recess and lunch break.
“We saw there is a risk of frostbite…we knew the wind chill was going to be quite significant,” said Anne McClymont school principal Tamalee Middleton. “We took that information and talked to the kids…and had an in-day.”
Pet owners also took precautions including shorter walks and using animal clothing amid the deep freeze.
“We knew we’d have to keep them bundled a little more,” said Kelowna resident Rebecca Levandowski. “They have boots but they will not keep them on to save their lives.”
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The freezing temperatures even forced some businesses to temporarily close, including the Sonic Car Wash because the extreme cold has a direct impact on the conveyor used as cars get into the washing facility.
“Basically the water from the wash, when it is inside gets all over our track there and it starts freezing up,” said Kayla Cooper, one of the managers at the car wash. “It starts to slow down and make a lot of bad noises and doesn’t want to work properly.”
Sonic Car Wash plans to re-open on Saturday.
But for other businesses, such as Milani Heating and Plumbing, the arctic front that has settled over the province means brisk business with all hands on deck working long hours.
“A lot of service calls, piping, ruptures, leaking faucets, furnace breakdowns and stuff like that,” said Nick Lesik of Milani Heating and Plumbing. “So we have been extremely busier than normal.”
Lesik said there are measures residents can take to reduce the chance of a furnace breakdown.
“Stay on top of your filtration systems,” Lesik said. “They lack the airflow if it is plugged and then they break down in colder temperatures because they are wanting to work overdrive.”
According to Global News meteorologist Peter Quinlan, the arctic air will move out gradually starting Monday, which means those temperatures will slowly start increasing next week and be above-freezing temperatures predicted by next weekend.
© 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.