More than week-long cold stretch starts in London region
LONDON, ONT -- The sun gave a bit of a reprieve from the freezing temperatures Saturday.
It allowed many Londoners to get out for a walk.
"As long as you keep moving you are good and warm," says Steve Evans, who was walking his dog Cody in Springbank Park in London, Ont.
However once the sun goes down the temperatures with wind chill factored in will dip near minus-20 Celsius over the next week.
That is right on the threshold for the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) to issue a cold weather alert.
“The combination of cold weather and strong winds, like those we’ll have over the weekend and next week can have an impact on our bodies; if you don’t dress accordingly, the weather can damage exposed skin and can lead to hypothermia,” says Randy Walker, Public Health Inspector with MLHU.
That is exactly what happened Saturday in downtown London when EMS received a call for a homeless person with frostbite on Dundas St.
In St. Thomas, the Grace Cafe, daytime drop in centre at 423 Talbot St, and the Inn out of the Cold have been staggering hours to give people a warm place throughout the entire day. They offer snacks, drinks, hats and gloves for those in need.
"Our daytime centre had generous donation of hand warmers," says Lori Fitzgerald, executive director of Inn out of the Cold.
"We got several cases of those. Our street beat are driving around our downtown core to hand those out. They have given away at least 15 pairs today. but ultimately we are encouraging people to go in."
However during the pandemic, going in isn't always easy.
"The library and malls are closed because of lockdown so it's more vital to find resources," says Walker.
"The city is doing what it can do, with the resources at its disposal and the restrictions imposed with lockdowns. The website for city has locations where there are places you can come in."
Back on the trails, a woman walking alone says she endures the cold temperatures to get some exercise and a bit of social interaction.
"The key is dressing warm," she said.
"Knowing once I am out here that I can see people and greet them from a distance makes it worth it."