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Cold weather leads to water main breaks, risk of frostbite

Last Updated Jan 14, 2020 at 5:08 pm MST

City crews work in minus 40 temperatures to fix a water main break in the northeast (PHOTO: Saif Kaisar, 660 NEWS)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – To say it’s cold in Calgary is an understatement.

An extreme cold warning is still in effect for the city and the entire province as windchills are hitting minus 40 degrees or colder.

RELATED: School closures and CTrain delays highlight extremely cold day

The temperatures pose several health risks, including frostbite, which EMS says can happen in as little as 10 minutes, the same amount of time for hypothermia.

“Hypothermia and cold-related injuries are very strong possibilities,” explained Dan Kulak with Environment Canada. “If you’re outside, cover-up, take a break if you can. If you’re really in an isolated area, if you’re working along, you really want to take some precautions and make sure somebody knows where you are.”

Although the extreme cold will remain for the rest of the week, Kulak says the weekend will bring some relief with temperatures returning to seasonal levels.

The cold weather has also led to several water main breaks in the city.

The latest was reported in the community of Windsor Park Tuesday morning. The City of Calgary says it usually takes around 48 hours for water main breaks to be repaired.

Homeless shelters like the Calgary Drop-In Centre has taken in more people and say it is low on items of clothing. The centre has put out a plea on social media asking for donations of things like boots, gloves and toques.

The Alberta Motor Association (AMA) is also facing a backlog in responding to broken down vehicles.

The latest wait times are about 12 hours for a tow and 10 hours for a boost.