Hamil­ton area gets hit with an­other blast of bit­ter cold

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - THE HAMIL­TON SPEC­TA­TOR

Af­ter a brief re­spite, the Hamil­ton area is get­ting hit with an­other blast of bit­ter cold.

Hamil­ton’s med­i­cal of­fi­cer of health is­sued a cold weather alert — which oc­curs when the tem­per­a­ture drops be­low -15 C, or when there’s a wind chill of -20 or lower — ef­fec­tive early Satur­day.

The same goes for Hal­ton, where a cold warn­ing was is­sued Fri­day night.

Dan Mil­lar, public re­la­tions di­rec­tor for the Sal­va­tion Army, said he ex­pected the agency’s shel­ter would be full and pos­si­bly into over­flow lev­els over the week­end as the tem­per­a­ture dropped.

The shel­ter has 82 beds, 10 over­flow beds plus the pos­si­bil­ity of ad­di­tional mat­tresses on the floor.

“We will be pre­pared to move into the cold alert mattress plan if needed,” Mil­lar said in an email.

This is the sec­ond time in the last few weeks that Hamil­ton has been hit with a cold weather alert.

One is­sued by the med­i­cal of­fi­cer of health Dec. 25 wasn’t lifted un­til Jan. 7.

The alert trig­gers spe­cial re­sponses from the city and lo­cal agen­cies to find shel­ter for the home­less.

Dur­ing the pre­vi­ous alert, men’s shel­ters in the city op­er­ated close to ca­pac­ity, while the de­mand for ser­vices for women was even greater.

When a cold alert is is­sued, City of Hamil­ton re­cre­ation cen­tres are avail­able dur­ing reg­u­lar hours for those who need to keep warm and the MacNab Tran­sit Ter­mi­nal stays open un­til HSR ser­vice ends.

Mem­bers of the public can re­port the lo­ca­tion of a per­son in need of shel­ter to the Sal­va­tion Army at 905-527-1444 Ext. 0.

The city’s com­mu­nity cold alert re­sponse, which re­mains ac­tive dur­ing the cold alert, in­cludes reg­u­lar warm­ing sta­tions.

To see the lo­ca­tions on a map, visit hamil­ton.ca/cold.

This week­end’s chilly tem­per­a­tures come af­ter a five-day re­prieve of warmer weather, which cul­mi­nated with Hamil­ton get­ting hit with a mix of rain that changed to snow af­ter a cold front passed through Fri­day af­ter­noon.

En­vi­ron­ment Canada is­sued a spe­cial weather state­ment, warn­ing of the pos­si­bil­ity of a brief pe­riod of freez­ing rain dur­ing the changeover.

But icy con­di­tions did not seem to ma­te­ri­al­ize in Hamil­ton.

De­spite a cau­tion from the na­tional weather agency about the pos­si­bil­ity of ice and snow pro­duc­ing poor driv­ing con­di­tions for the com­mute, Hamil­ton po­lice re­ported they did not see an in­crease in col­li­sions be­cause of the weather.

On­tario Pro­vin­cial Po­lice said they were re­spond­ing to “nu­mer­ous” col­li­sions as ve­hi­cles slid into ditches along High­way 403 be­tween Paris and Burling­ton late Fri­day af­ter­noon.

CATHIE COW­ARD, THE HAMIL­TON SPEC­TA­TOR

Ice fog rises off Cootes Par­adise and the Des­jardins Canal early Fri­day morn­ing as 11 de­gree tem­per­a­tures and loads of overnight rain worked to erode any re­main­ing snow in the area.

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