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Albertans flying south to escape freezing temperatures

WATCH ABOVE: Florida, California, Arizona: All warm places people at the Edmonton International Airport were jetting off to on Wednesday morning. Kent Morrison spoke to some of those people escaping the freezing cold.

Albertans have been doing many of the usual things to deal with the freezing temperatures: dress accordingly, spend as little time possible outside, start their vehicle before driving. But some are using a different strategy: leave.

As the majority of Alberta continued to sit under an extreme cold warning on Wednesday morning, some Albertans were excitedly leaving for much warmer destinations.

READ MORE: Tuesday the coldest day in Edmonton in more than 9 years

Global News caught up with travellers at the Edmonton International Airport who were heading to Florida, Palm Springs, Arizona and Mexico, and doing it with big smiles on their faces.

“It’s a little nice to have bragging rights over your friends, share pictures of you on the beach. Hopefully we can get through this week while I’m not here,” Mike O’Connell said shortly before catching his flight to Florida.

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Despite the bitterly cold temperatures, flights were largely leaving on time Wednesday morning, which was good news for passengers.

“I feel sorry for the people who have to stay here but I’m glad to go,” said one woman who was heading to Phoenix.

“It’s depressing when you’re here this long because Edmonton is cold,” said another woman who was also flying to Phoenix.

WATCH BELOW: Global News reporter Kent Morrison caught up with passengers at the Edmonton International Airport Wednesday morning who were escaping the freezing temperatures.

Edmontonians escaping bitter cold
Edmontonians escaping bitter cold

Many travellers returning to Alberta haven’t had an enjoyable experience. The EIA said there have been about 300 to 400 vehicles requiring a boost daily. Many of those vehicles are owned by travellers who parked them at the airport during their trips.

The airport brought in an additional truck to deal with the massive amount of vehicles needing assistance.

READ MORE: Tips to make sure your car starts during a cold snap

The Alberta Motor Association said it has received a record number of calls for roadside assistance due to the cold weather.

On Sunday, the AMA received more than 11,100 calls. On Monday, the agency received more than 20,000 calls.

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“In some areas, such as rural Alberta, calls about dead batteries are up nearly nine times the average,” the AMA said in a news release Tuesday morning.

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“Edmonton and Calgary have seen as much as five-and-a-half times the usual volume.”

WATCH BELOW: Here’s Mike Sobel’s Wednesday, February 6, 2019 early morning weather forecast for Edmonton, Alberta and the surrounding area.

Edmonton early morning weather forecast: Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Edmonton early morning weather forecast: Wednesday, February 6, 2019
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