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BC Ferries has to cancel sailings due to freezing conditions on ship


Customers with bookings will have them cancelled and refunded, and travel on Tuesday “will revert to standby basis.”

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Up to 10 centimetres of snow forecast for Metro Vancouver on Wednesday and Thursday

An incoming “Alaska low” will bring moisture onto the B.C. coast on Wednesday and Thursday, with that moisture falling as snow due to the Arctic weather now gripping the region.

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According to The Weather Network the snowfall could be as much as 10 centimetres in Metro Vancouver and on Vancouver Island.

“That system begins impacting the coasts Wednesday night, falling heaviest for Thursday morning commuters. With winds picking up at that time to 40-50 km/h, people should prepare for blowing snow conditions and dangerous driving,” the forecaster stated in their latest bulletin

“Beyond, daytime highs remain below zero for the coasts through the end of the week. The weekend sees temperatures rise above zero since more, but with a fair bit of rain and perhaps even brief periods of light snow, with an unsettled week beyond.”

Power out in Mt. Pleasant

Nearly 1,500 B.C. Hydro customers are without power Tuesday night in the Mt. Pleasant neighbourhood of Vancouver.

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There are two areas affected. The first is west of Prince Edward St., south of 8th Avenue, north of 15th Avenue and east of Main St. The second is West of Brunswick St., East of Yukon St., South of 6th Avenue and North of 11th Avenue.

The outages began at 8:10 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. and affect 1,431 customers. It is unclear if the outages are weather-related. B.C. Hydro crews are on site as of 9:45 p.m.

B.C. Ferries has cancelled Tuesday sailings between Tsawwassen and Duke Point because the weather is wreaking havoc with the vessel.

The 10:15 a.m. sailing out of Tsawwassen and the 12:45 p.m. out of Duke Point of the Queen of New Westminster were cancelled “due to the freezing weather conditions today, causing frozen water pipes, washroom closures and unsafe conditions on the vehicle deck,” said the ferry corporation in a statement.

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The 3:15 p.m. from Tsawwassen and 5:45 p.m. out of Duke Point were also cancelled.

Customers with bookings will have them cancelled and refunded, and travel on Tuesday “will revert to standby basis.”

Anyone with some travel flexibility is urged to consider the Horseshoe Bay–Departure Bay route between North Vancouver and Nanaimo, or Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay in Sidney.

B.C. Ferries apologized for the inconvenience and said it is working to fix the freezing issues.

B.C. Hydro sees record electricity use during cold front

B.C. set a record for electricity demand on Monday evening because of the extreme low temperatures in much of the province.

B.C. Hydro says between 5 and 6 p.m. on Dec. 27, “demand for electricity hit an all-time high of 10,902 megawatts, which is higher than the previous record of 10,577 megawatts set in 2020,” said Hydro spokesperson Simi Heer in a release.

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“The record represents a single moment in the hour when demand for electricity was the highest yesterday,” said Heer. “Most of the increase is likely due to additional home heating required during this cold snap.”

Overall demand has remained high since Friday, though Monday’s peak was an 18 per cent jump over Christmas Eve.

Though there are no imminent supply issues, Heer urged British Columbians to avoid peak times to relieve pressure on the grid. Little things like doing laundry and running dishwashers earlier in the day help, said Heer.

It can also help to drop your thermostat to about 16ºC when sleeping, 18º when doing housework or keeping active, and only setting it at 21º when relaxing or watching TV.

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Warming shelters open across region

Update: The City of Vancouver has increased capacity and extended the opening of warming centres through Jan. 2 in response to the extreme weather.

The extreme cold that has sparked an Arctic outflow warning for Metro Vancouver and the south coast is expected to continue until at least Thursday, when conditions should ease somewhat.

Meanwhile, warming centres that popped up in Vancouver on Friday, offering a warm place to stay for people stuck in cold temperatures outdoors, are expected to remain open.

Run by partner agencies, community centres, outreach program staff and funded by B.C. Housing, the shelters act as a life-saving response for people sleeping outside when the temperature reaches -5º Celsius or below.

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Communities across the region have also opened emergency shelters, some of which are beyond capacity.

— With a file from Sarah Grochowsk i

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All of Western Canada seeing record cold, extreme weather warnings

EDMONTON — Frigid temperatures and arctic air have left most of the western provinces shivering with wind chills dipping down to –55ºC.

Environment Canada says all of Alberta and most of British Columbia and Saskatchewan, along with parts of Manitoba and Ontario are under extreme cold weather warnings.

It says the wind chill can range between –40ºC and –55ºC in Edmonton and Calgary.

It says arctic outflow winds and low temperatures have also been forecast for much of British Columbia with the mercury dipping to near or below –20ºC.

— The Canadian Press

Walk like a penguin and other cold weather tips

There’s already snow on the ground and now temperatures across Metro Vancouver are plunging to as low as -20C thanks to a blast of Arctic air.

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So we went back into our archives to dig up some tips to get you through the next few days of winter weather, including how to walk on icy streets (hint: penguins know best), the best snow-shovelling techniques and how to stay warm and safe during cold snaps.

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How to keep pets safe when it’s very cold

Have you got a pandemic pup that’s faced with extreme cold for the first time? Or just wondering what to do to keep Rover safe during this unusually icy stretch?

With B.C.’s cold snap emulating the kind of winter weather that’s par for the course in neighbouring Alberta, we turned to the SPCA there for tips on helping your pet stay safe and warm during these cold days and nights.

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