N.B.’s Deep Freeze: What You Need To Know

Extreme cold warnings issued by Environment Canada remain blanketed across New Brunswick, where parts of the province are expected to feel like -43 degrees celsius.

Here’s what you need to know.

High winds, low temperatures

According to the weather agency, a period of very cold wind chills will continue for most of Saturday, where temperatures will be about -35 to -43 degrees.

Winds are expected to reach upwards of 70 kilometres per hour.

“Extreme cold conditions will slowly improve by this afternoon as temperatures rise,” said Environment Canada in a notice.

Meteorologists ask the public to watch out for cold-related symptoms, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, muscle pain and weakness, numbness and colour change in fingers and toes.

They also advise anyone going out to cover up.

“Frostbite can develop within minutes on exposed skin, especially with wind chill,” the weather agency says.

“If it’s too cold for you to stay outside, it’s too cold for your pet to stay outside.”

Shelters and warming centres open

Areas across New Brunswick have introduced expanded hours at shelters and warming centres.

The City of Saint John says four shelters increased to maximum safe capacities to provide warm spaces.

Shelters available include the following:

  • Out of the Cold (390 Lowell Street – Belyea Arena) – 50 beds. Open 24 hours a day until 8 a.m. on Feb. 5.
  • Coverdale Centre for Women (154 Waterloo Street) – 15 beds.
  • Outflow (162 Waterloo Street) – 32 beds
  • Stone Church (87 Carleton Street) – acting as a daytime warming centre from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The Coverdale Centre for Women and Outflow shelters are open 24 hours, seven days a week.

Wilmot United Church in Fredericton is available as a warming centre for all of Saturday afternoon, providing coffee, hot chocolate and light snacks.

Dominic Cardy, MLA for Fredericton West-Hanwell, said on Twitter the Upper Kingsclear Community Hall has opened as a warming station.

“Grab a warm drink, warm up, and charge your devices,” he wrote on Twitter.

“If staying home without power, try to block drafts, stay in the warmest room, and be careful [with] candles.”

In the Moncton area, shelters have increased capacity to provide urgent safe and warm spaces for anyone in need.

Those shelters include:

  • Out of the Cold (Humanity Project) at 473 St. George Street
  • Mark Avenue Shelter at 55 Mark Avenue
  • Harvest House Atlantic at 182 High Street
  • House of Nazareth, 75 Albert Street

In Miramichi, a new out-of-the-cold shelter is running at the Linden Recreation Centre for overnight hours. Daytime warming centres are open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Skyway to Heaven Church and the Salvation Army.

The New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization has also posted a list of warming and charging centres on its website.

Centres that are open include:

  • Grand Lake Minto Fire Station at 187 A Main St. in Minto
  • Grand Lake Chipman Fire Station at 10 Civic Court, Unit 1 in Chipman
  • The third floor of Garcelon Civic Centre at 22 Budd Ave. in St. Stephen
  • St. George Anglican Church at 28 Main St. in St George

Power outages

Roughly 5,800 people were without power as of 1:20 p.m. on Saturday, with outages scattered across the province.

The bulk of outages is located in the Central York Sunbury region, which covers areas like Fredericton, Stanley and Nashwaak Village.

NB Power did not have estimated restoration times.

The utility is also reminding customers to limit their energy consumption during peak times between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. as it braces for the colder temperatures over the weekend.

“The colder it gets, the more electricity we use to stay warm and run our businesses,” said NB Power in a post on Twitter.

“When this happens, we need to use the most expensive and least green energy to power New Brunswick.”

NB Power suggested making small changes, such as turning down the heat in unoccupied rooms or offices and deferring high-energy equipment use.