Port Alberni Shelter issues extreme weather alert

Sub-zero temperatures and the threat of snow have prompted Port Alberni Shelter to issue an extreme weather alert.

The Port Alberni Shelter has issued an extreme weather alert for the Alberni Valley this weekend.

The Weather Network is forecasting temperatures at –1 Celsius and scattered flurries, with less than one centimetre of accumulation. But it’s enough to put people living on the streets in danger, Port Alberni Shelter administrator Wes Hewitt said.

Shelters in Nanaimo and Duncan were also following his lead, he said.

“People aren’t that well prepared at this point in the season. We’d rather be safe than sorry. We try in this community to err on the side of caution.

“The last thing we want to do is see someone outside and they expire due to hypothermia,” he said.

An extreme weather alert means Hewitt can offer accommodation to more people at the shelter. He can bring out extra beds that aren’t used during warmer weather, and can issue people cots and mats on the floor—whatever meets their needs.

The extreme weather program operates under the auspices of the provincial Assistance to Shelter Act and runs from Nov. 1 to March 31. While many communities use temperatures as a hard and fast rule to enact the alert, Port Alberni Shelter does not; Hewitt will assess the weather forecast and determine whether an alert is needed. Last year, for example, when the Valley experienced heavy rain and flooding, but not cold weather, an alert was issued.

He said the shelter operated under extreme weather conditions for approximately 60 days last year.

Enacting an extreme weather alert allows the RCMP to assist people in getting shelter, Hewitt explained. The RCMP will open a file and will track any contact they have in the community based on the alert.

“They are extremely good in this community,” he said of the RCMP. “No matter if it’s extreme weather or not. No matter what time of year, the RCMP will bring people in distress to the shelter.”

editor@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

Drag races headed back towards Alberni airport for 2019

Drag racing association receives approval, pending agreement with ACRD

Port Alberni author Gwynne Hunt releases new book

Unlocking the Tin Box is a true tale of family dysfunction

VALLEY SENIORS: Ernie and Margaret Bigelow enjoy 60 years of marriage

The couple met in Port Alberni when Ernie bought a “shack” next door to Margaret

Alberni darts player heading to national championships

Jason Bagnell is fundraising for his trip to Nova Scotia

ARTS AROUND: Giant book sale approaches in Port Alberni

This is the last week to drop off all your donations

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Woman who was chased and tackled after break-in sentenced on Vancouver Island

Natasha Geraldine Harris, 28, was sentenced to time served and will be released from jail

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Can you put your phone down for Mother’s Day?

#DiningMode campaign encourages people to leave the phone alone while eating

Most Read