A very cold Christmas weekend is in the forecast for the Fraser Valley, and Abbotsford is opening its extreme weather shelters in response.
There are four shelters throughout the city that open when temperatures drop. Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement regarding an arctic outflow expected to hit the region Friday night, with temperatures in Abbotsford dropping to about -11C.
It says a weather system will arrive over the south coast overnight tonight and remain in the region through Sunday. Initially, the system will bring rain mixed with snow for areas closer to the water and snow for inland areas and higher terrain.
Cooler air from the B.C. interior starts to filter out to the south coast on Friday night, it says, however true arctic air is not expected to begin making its way out to the coast until later Christmas Day.
The cold will settle in and last through to Sunday and possibly into next week.
Environment Canada warns there will be an increased risk of frostbite and hypothermia with these conditions.
Abbotsford’s extreme weather shelters are offered through BC Housing, and are in addition to the city’s regular emergency shelters.
Those will be open overnight today (Dec. 23) at:
Salvation Army (34081 Gladys Ave, 604-852-9305) from 9:30 p.m. - 8:30 a.m.
Lookout Society (1640 Riverside Rd, 604-744-1538) from 7 p.m. - 7 a.m.
Penny’s Place/SARA for Women (604-746-3301) Connection through the Warm Zone at 33264 Old Yale Rd from 8 p.m. - 8 a.m.
Gateway Church (2884 Gladys Ave, 604-859-5927) from 8 p.m. - 8 a.m.
In Chilliwack, Ruth and Naomi’s Mission and the Salvation Army have implemented their cold weather strategy as well, with their warming centre open 24 hours a day for anyone in need. The city says that their bylaw staff, Griffin Security, and the RCMP are directing people experiencing homelessness to local shelters during this cold weather event.
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