January 12, 2018 7:02 pm

Regina endures for second cold snap of the season

Unseasonably cold weather sweeps across Saskatchewan for the second time in a month.

Derek Putz / Global News

Ten days.

Ten days of respite, of rest, of bearable temperatures.

That’s all Mother Nature could afford before bombarding the province with another deep freeze.

As most people are cozying up beside their heaters, there are some who are forced to endure the icy temperatures outdoors.

For those working outside, the past week has been a myriad of adventures. From freezing rain, to freezing cold, they’ve had to toil through it all.

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READ MORE: Most of Saskatchewan remains under extreme cold warning

“It’s definitely a challenge for them,” lamented Casey MacLeod, senior communications officer at SaskEnergy said. “You know they’re working through the night until about midnight every night, getting their rest break and starting up in the morning. So they do have to take extra precautions to stay warm.”

150 SaskEnergy workers spent time this week working to restore power to 4500 people in the Melfort, Kinistino, and St. Brieux regions. In the city, it’s construction workers who are getting the brunt of the icy weather.

“It causes a host of safety issues, especially the freezing rain,” Nick Walbaum, president of the Regina Construction Association, explained. “Lots of slips, trips, and fall hazards if it’s not dealt with right away. In extreme cold, you can’t be up there and exposed that long. So you got to do a lot more planning when temperatures dip as low as they are right now.”

That planning is something firefighters know all too well.

READ MORE: Regina fire crews contain fire Thursday morning

“The equipment takes a beating.” explained Regina Fire Services fire marshall Randy Ryba. “We have to keep water running to keep the equipment and trucks from freezing.”

Not only does the cold mean frozen equipment, it poses an increased threat.

“We’re very cognizant of ice loading on any structure,” Ryba continued. “In the summer of course the water will drain away, in the winter it freezes almost instantly which puts a tremendous stress on the building that’s already compromised.”

They’re conditions that workers will have to deal with for the coming days. The cold snap is expected to continue into Tuesday, with seasonal temperatures finally making a return on Wednesday.

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