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Cold weather blamed for trash-collection delays, long CAA waits

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It's a very cold day to start the week, with dangerous wind chills making it feel as cold as -45C in southern Manitoba this morning.

In Winnipeg, city officials warn frigid temperatures have caused vehicle breakdowns which may delay garbage and recycling collection.

Officials said cold weather has slowed the hydraulics of collection vehicles and has caused some vehicle breakdowns.

Residents are advised to leave their carts or bins out past the usual time for collection.

Officials said crews for both collection contractors - Emterra and BFI - will be working later than usual this evening and possibly throughout the week if the extreme cold continues.

CAA to set record

Meanwhile, CAA Manitoba said that it is on track to set a new record for most motorists’ service calls in a 24-hour period.

In the last four years, the busiest day was Jan. 30, 2008 – when the mercury dropped to a low of -30.1 degrees. On that day, CAA Manitoba served 1,125 members in 24 hours.

By 2 p.m. today, CAA Manitoba had already serviced 744 vehicles around the province.

"If calls for help continue to come in as quickly as they have all morning, we are on track to serve more than 1,300 calls before the day is done," said Liz Peters, CAA Manitoba Public and Government Affairs Manager.

CAA is reminding all members who need help to go to caamanitoba.com and click on "Request Service Online" to avoid having to wait on hold. CAA also has a free iPhone app to request service more quickly.

"It’s our busiest day of the year, so our phone lines are backed up," Peters said. "Connecting with us online is by far the fastest way to make service requests."

Cold snap to continue all week

We can expect to be stuck in this deep freeze all day and overnight.

The rest of the week’s just as cold, but wind chills will moderate, just a bit. At the same time, every day this week, we can expect clear, sunny skies.

Temperatures will see highs runs anywhere from -22C today to a high of -26C Wednesday. Lows range from -29C -31C all week.

By Saturday we’re free. Temperatures rise to seasonal norms, with highs of -15C Saturday and -13C Sunday and lows of -25C Saturday, and -17C Sunday.

The cold has also had an affect on schools. Following is a list of school divisions where classes are cancelled due to the extreme cold:

  • Borderland,
  • Turtle Mountain
  • Mennonite Collegiate (Gretna)
  • Park West: buses cancelled, schools open.
  • Prairie Spirit
  • Red River Valley: some buses cancelled, schools open.

History

Updated on Monday, January 21, 2013 at 8:06 AM CST: Updated

8:57 AM: Fix to Red River Valley School Division.

10:17 AM: Updates with wait times for CAA.

3:45 PM: CAA sets record for calls.

5:06 PM: Adds information on trash, recycling collection delays.

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