Plummeting temperatures chill the Valley

An arctic outflow brought colder-than-usual weather to the Fraser Valley on Friday, with temperatures reaching highs of minus 4 (Celsius).

At times, the wind chill value was minus 17, forcing residents of the typically temperate valley to dig out their winter gear.

Danielle Milette, who was manning one of the Salvation Army kettles outside the Save-On-Foods on Whatcom Road, was one of them.

Milette was bundled up in a heavy parka and was sporting long johns beneath her jeans.

She removed her gloves to display one of her secrets to beating the cold: disposable hand warmers.

"They are a lifesaver," she said.

Doug Smith, who is camping in the Jubilee Park protest camp, said that most of the campers are hunkered in for the cold and not considering going to a shelter.

"I think everyone is determined to make a stand."

He said that currently inhabitants are staying in their tents and using fires and propane tanks for heat, though he acknowledges the danger of fires in the tents.

"You've got to be on the flames all the time, because that's always a risk."

While the cold snap lasts, Smith said they are "watching each other's backs … we're just going to try and stay warm."

"If people want to help out, donations always help: gloves and mitts and stuff."

Environment Canada has issued a warning that the arctic outflow is expected to continue Friday night, with wind chill values nearing minus 20, and into Saturday morning.

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