The drop in temperature over the weekend saw agencies and shelters across Saskatoon rush into action to help those needing a place to stay warm.
Environment Canada put an extreme cold warning in place for the entire province late last week. It was still in place on Monday.
The forecast this week appears to be slightly warmer, but daily highs are anticipated to be between -26 degrees and -29 degrees Celsius.
“We make sure they’ve got some place to go. We don’t just send them out in the cold. We’ve got to have a plan for them. With these temperatures, you don’t just send somebody out in the cold,” The Salvation Army’s Major Judy Regamey told Global News.
The organization is the only 24-7 warming centre in Saskatoon.
This weekend, the group has found short-term beds for 75 people since Feb. 5.
Saskatoon Housing Initiative Partnership (SHIP) said it has secured 18 hotel rooms when the cold weather strategy is put into place to ensure anyone who needs a bed has one when the temperature drops.
The cost is covered by SHIP as long the strategy is in place, which has been extended to Feb. 12.
The partnership’s homelessness plan manager added partners extended outreach hours this weekend to 6 a.m.
The deep freeze comes as a result of the polar vortex, which happens when arctic air moves in from the North Pole and it’s not expected to leave anytime soon.
Wind chill will make the remainder of the week feel between -30 and -50 degrees.
“It doesn’t look like until we reach the end of the week after Family Day that we’re going to start to see a little bit of relief. And when I say relief, we’re talking daytime highs in the minus teens. So we’re going to likely see extreme cold warnings across the province throughout the majority of the work week,” Global News meteorologist Peter Quinlan said.
Paramedics were only called a handful of times over the weekend.
Medavie Health Services West said since Saturday it transported seven patients to hospital who were close to developing hypothermia or frostbite.
The message is to ensure those who need a place, have a place to lay their head at the end of the day.
“We have all of our beds full and overflow full. It’s difficult to find a bed. So we’re encouraging people early in the day, ‘Where are you going to sleep tonight?’ Let’s get a plan,” Regamey added.
Six temperature records were broken in northern Saskatchewan Sunday morning.