Around 50 homes near Stone Church Road East are without water on Tuesday afternoon after a big water main burst. 

The broken 16-inch water main has caused significant road damage, and forced police to re-direct traffic from the stretch of Stone Church Road East between Upper Wellington and Upper Wentworth. Police Const. Debbie McGreal-Dinning said around 10 metres of road in the area collapsed due to the break. 

City of Hamilton crews are aiming to have the main repaired by this evening, but could not say for sure when the work would be complete. City spokesperson Kelly Anderson said the broken water pipe may be attributed to the record-setting cold.

Anderson said city crews have been dealing with three-to-four broken pipes a day during the recent cold snap, which is more than normal. 

The cold also forced city garbage workers off the job. 

City worker

A city garbage collector covers up in the cold on Jan. 6. The city canceled garbage collection on Tuesday amid record cold. (John Rieti/CBC)

The city advised of the shutdown by Twitter this morning, saying the cold made for "unsafe work conditions." Garbage collectors had been seen picking up waste in the downtown core on Monday wearing bright orange winter clothing.

A citywide cold weather alert, issued by Hamilton's Medical Officer of Health on Monday, continued on Tuesday and will likely run into Wednesday when the temperature is also set to dip below -20 C. 

Schools stay open

Schools remained open despite the frigid temperatures and a wind chill warning issued by Environment Canada.

However, at around 9:30 a.m. the Canadian Martyrs Catholic Elementary School, at Main St. W. and Cootes Dr., flooded extensively after a heating pipe burst. Parents at that school are being asked to pick up their children. 

How to recognize frostbite:

  1. Skin appears red and becomes painful
  2. Numbness and loss of sensitivity of the skin area comes next
  3. Skin may appear white and hard to touch
  4. Warm area slowly. Do not rub frostbitten area

The school says phone service at the school is currently unavailable and recommends checking the HWCDSB website for further updates.

Paramedics urge caution

Hamilton paramedics are warning people not to underestimate the cold.

"Try and prepare yourself well," said Cmdr. Ian Wright. 

"Keep your skin covered up … plan your day so you don't have to be outside too long."

Wright said paramedics are on high alert for exposure injuries like frostbite and hypothermia, as well as injuries relating to slips and falls and vehicle collisions. 

Travel disrupted

WestJet stopped all of its operations at John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport on Tuesday due to the weather. The airline said it's working on a plan to help displaced travellers and should have updated information this evening or in the morning.

Flights have resumed at Pearson International in Toronto, but there is still a huge backlog of flights. Anyone traveling via Pearson is asked to check on the status of their flight before heading to the airport. 

Road traffic appears to be running smoothly as of 2:30 p.m., based on Ministry of Transportation data