Extreme cold impacts Calgary Transit, YYC, gas pumps, schools, and more Friday

Daytime highs not seen in 20 years are wreaking havoc across Calgary Friday, slowing down transit, leaving roads slick, and delaying flights, among other issues.

Calgary Transit experiences delays, deploys shuttles

Commuters trying to catch a train into Calgary’s downtown core Friday morning faced delays.

In a post to social media Friday morning, Calgary Transit said a power issue in the core prompted the deployment of shuttle buses to compensate services.

This was a source of frustration for some Calgary commuters.

“It’s kind of a ridiculous situation — I got on the train, I had no notice anything that was going to happen — and when we got to Chinook they said they’re not going any further than 39 [Avenue] so pretty much ‘Good luck on your own getting somewhere there’ and there’s no shelter there. Or, try to catch the number 10 here which was a half-hour wait,” one man told CityNews.

“I’ve been standing in here, there’s no heat in this thing — there are heaters there but they aren’t working,” he added. “I just helped a homeless lady pull her blanket up on herself.

“It’s insane, this is extremely cold.”

In an update around 12:40 p.m., Calgary Transit said power had been restored and service was back up and running in the downtown core.

However, it says CTrains on the Blue Line will only use the inbound track at the Sunalta and Shaganappi LRT and CTrains on the Red Line will only enter and depart at City Hall North platform, until further notice.

Earlier in the morning, Calgary Transit said buses would run along westbound 6 Avenue and eastbound 9 Avenue and that shuttles would pick riders up from Bridgeland, Sunnyside, Westbrook and Erlton.

Temperatures hit 20-year low: Environment and Climate Change Canada

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) issued an extreme cold warning for the city early Friday morning, saying long periods of extremely cold temperatures and wind chills will continue.

Wind chill values between -40 C and -55 C are have descended on the city, and will continue throughout the day.

Temperatures will continue to fall through the weekend, the ECCC says, and Saturday morning and Sunday morning will be the coldest with temperatures ranging from -40 to -48 C, and wind chill values near -55.

Wind chills could even be a bit colder in open and exposed areas, it adds.

Read more: Extreme cold grips Alberta, daytime highs of -30 C not seen in 20 years: Environment Canada

The last time Calgary had a winter event like this — daytime highs plunging below – 30 C — Facebook was just being launched, apple just released the iPod Mini, and Shrek 2 came out — it was 2002.

It’s also been a long time since the city saw a forecasted high of -32 C

“It isn’t quite record breaking, That being said, this is something people haven’t felt in a while,” explained Paul Silvestro with Environment Canada. “The last time we had a forecast high of around -32 C was 1968.

“So although it has occurred in the past, it has been a while.”

At that time, former U.S. Vice President announced his candidacy for president and Martin Luther King Jr. was shot dead outside a motel in Tennessee.

Cold also impacting schools, flights, ski hills

The Calgary Board of Education (CBE) and Calgary Catholic School (CCSD) divisions say schools rarely close due to snow or cold temperatures, though their could be delays to transportation due to the weather.

Chinook’s Edge School Division (CESD), which covers 40 central Alberta schools between Calgary and Red Deer, declared an “inclement weather red day” Friday due to the cold, saying schools and offices are closed and no buses are running.

Strathcona Tweedmuir School (STS) has also cancelled classes for the day, and the Foothills School Division (FSD) says buses won’t be running due to the extreme cold.

The Rocky View School Division (RVSD) posted to social media that all of it’s schools are closed and no buses are running. However, online schools are open, as are high schools designated for diploma exam writing.

If you are looking to escape the present, perhaps catch a flight — you can expect some cold weather delays, or even cancellations.

As of Friday morning, there were at least 18 flights either arriving a lot later than usual, or not at all, at YYC International.

Numerous mountains are closed for those looking to ski or snowboard, including Sunshine, Nakiska, and Kicking Horse in Golden, B.C.

Read more: Extreme cold closes Alberta ski hills

The Alberta Motor Association (AMA) is reporting a 48-hour wait for a tow and a 24-hour wait for a boost.

If you lock yourself out of your vehicle, it will take about six hours to get help.

Read more: Calgary crews tackle winter roads, remind drivers to be prepared ahead of cold spell

Callers to the CityNews660 traffic centre also indicate the cold weather is impacting gas pumps across the city.

Alison, who works at a Mobil station in the northeast, says it’s been a cold morning, but she has a simple solution that’s been working.

“The pumps are cold, the people are cold, everybody’s cold,” she told CityNews. “All I do is put some anti-freeze into the nozzle and that takes out most of the ice.”

Warm up expected next week

Thankfully, there is some light at the end of the tunnel — temperatures hovering in the minus teens are expected through much of next week, which will provide a noticeable difference.

“That air mass should move off unfortunately early next week, so we do have to get through the weekend first and a couple more chilly days and chilly nights but it does it look like heading into Monday, temperatures should start to warm up closer to seasonal value, but generally through next week temperatures will remain below seasonal,” Silvestro said.

This is a developing story.

Stay with CityNews660 for weather, traffic, and news updates every 10 minutes together on the ones.

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