This is an eyewitness report from the NowPublic member albertacowpoke who was on the scene.
Temperatures in Alberta Dip Dangerously Low
Well I woke up Sunday morning with no place to put my head it wouldn't hurt (oops I mean freeze). As I opened the door to let my dog out, I gazed at the thermometer, it was reading -43c or 45F.
Even a slight wind in those temperatures can be extremely dangerous. Although we expect to go into the deepfreeze sometime after mid December, these low temperatures are highly unusual before January.
The temperatures create havoc for emergency services such a Fire and EMS services. It is also a major problem for the homeless. Homeless shelters are overflown and have extended their hours.
In both Edmonton and Calgary Police and Paramedics moved out to get the homeless into shelters.
At these temperatures exposed skin can freeze in less than five minutes.
There is not much relief in sight before Wednesday.
Interestingly enough, my water trough was frozen this morning. I had thought that the bowl heater had conked out, found another one that worked and went to replace it. There was no power to the court. I checked the main outlet it worked. It was so cold last night, that the electrical cord to the heater snapped like a stick.
The cold doesn't feel all that bad when you're working out there. The sunshine that accompanies arctic highs is also good for the soul.
Environment Canada 5 day Weather Forecast Elk Island National Park
Dangerously cold temperatures have settled in across much of the Prairies and northern Ontario this weekend.
Environment Canada has issued warnings, saying the wind chill could reach -50C.
At those temperatures, exposed skin can freeze in less than five minutes.
In both Edmonton and Calgary, police and paramedics were moving out to help get the homeless into shelters.
So far the news is good at Edmonton's Hope Mission, a Christian social agency that provides the bulk of shelter space with five facilities and 700 beds.
Communications director Peter Gerber says while they were fuller than usual on Friday night, there were still beds left.
If shelters start to overflow, the organization also has a warehouse with washroom facilities on hand, where clients would be provided with mats and blankets.