Sask. cities remind residents about safety, available resources during heat warnings

·3 min read
Many families and kids were seen cooling down at the River Landing Spray Park in Saskatoon on Aug. 18 as temperatures reached 30 C. (Pratyush Dayal/CBC - image credit)
Many families and kids were seen cooling down at the River Landing Spray Park in Saskatoon on Aug. 18 as temperatures reached 30 C. (Pratyush Dayal/CBC - image credit)

Heat warnings are in effect for most of southeast and southern Saskatchewan, and cities in the province are reminding citizens about cool-down locations and giving safety tips for extreme heat.

The City of Regina put out a statement saying it has a list on its website of cool-down areas where people can find water, coffee, food and other services.

It also reminded residents that buses are available for anyone who feels like the heat might be too much to handle.

"If the heat is getting to you, flag down one of our Regina Transit buses and our friendly operators will help you out," the statement said.

There is also cold water available in front of all seven fire stations in the city.

The city said spray parks and outdoor pools are also an option to beat the heat, but only until Monday, although Regent Park will have an extended season until Sept. 17.

The city reminded residents about the importance of knowing the symptoms of heat related illnesses, including headache, dizziness, fainting, nausea, vomiting, heat rash, rapid breathing and extreme thirst. It said that if anyone is in danger or injured, from the heat or otherwise, they should call 911 immediately.

While pools remain closed in Saskatoon, the city has extended its spray park hours. They are now active from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. CST.

There is also a list of cool-down stations around Saskatoon available on the city's website.

Heat not uncommon this time of year, Environment Canada

Terri Lang, a meteorologist for Environment and Climate Change Canada, said the heat has definitely been the big weather story this week.

"We've got this late season heat [and] it's not all that rare," she says. "If we look at our record temperatures for today, they're [in the] low 30s, mid 30s, so we see a few records falling, but [they're] not all that historic."

She said people tend to believe that back to school season also means cooler temperatures, but that's not always the case.

"Mother Nature has a bit of a different idea," she said. "So [it will be] hot for a couple days. We've got a cool front moving through, that'll cool it off a couple degrees for a day or two, and then we're back into the heat for the long weekend."

More than a dozen heat warnings are in place across Saskatchewan Thursday afternoon in areas including Regina, Swift Current, Melfort and Yorkton.

The heat warnings affect most of the southeast, northeast and southern parts of the province.

New summer record for energy consumption

SaskPower said a new summer demand record was made at 5:15 p.m. CST Wednesday when 3,597 megawatts (MW) of power was being used in the province at the time. This was 46 MW higher than the previous record set on July 13.

SaskPower said another record could be set before the end of the summer.

"Extreme heat drives up electricity consumption, and higher peaks are a sign of the growing demand for power in Saskatchewan," said Kory Hayko, SaskPower vice-president of transmission and industrial services, in a statement.