Winnipeggers cope with sizzling heatwave
City pools see big crowds while ice cream vendors enjoy boost in business
Southern Manitoba has been in the grips of a heatwave for close to a week now — sending big crowds to pools, beaches and to ice-cream vendors.
Kildonan Park Outdoor Pool in Winnipeg was already packed by noon Friday morning with families hoping to stay cool.
By noon Friday the temperature had already hit 26 C, and was expected to reach a high of 30 by mid-afternoon, combined with high humidex levels.
Winnipeg mom Liz Pimentel brought her daughter Amalia to the pool on Friday to escape the heat.
"This is torture! But it’s nice to come to the pool and relax," she said. The pair has been at the pool three times this week to cool off.
Earlier this week, the City of Winnipeg extended splash pad hours for a second time to respond to the heatwave, and provincial officials issued a heat advisory.
Homeless shelters around the city are having trouble coping with demand. Floyd Perras is the executive director of Siloam Mission. He said the weather is a major concern for people with no place to go.
"We try to provide them bottled water for them to go on their way during the day," he said. Other than that, though, workers tell them to "stay in the shade, try to find a place that has air conditioning."
The shelter is now accepting water bottle donations and are hoping things will cool down slightly soon.
A number of Winnipeggers who work outside in the heat are also hoping temperatures will take a dip soon.
Mail carrier Derrick Heide said he has been trying to finish his routes as early as possible this week before it gets too hot outside.
"We definitely prefer winter just because you can dress for it," he said. "You can take off layers. In summer, you just can’t dress for it, and the humidity just drags you down."
Ice cream business booms
Elsewhere in the city, business owners were celebrating the hot temperatures. Dickie Dee’s Ice Cream manager Dustin Dagdick said the weather has helped him recoup a month of lost profit.
Winnipeg’s summer came extra late this year, eating into his business’ bottom line.
Now, he said, his employees are busier than ever. His fleet of ice-cream tricycle drivers push 300-pound carts in blistering heat.
"We always push the fact you should always have water on you at all times," said Dagdick. "We provide sun tan lotion and also we tell them, ‘If you are feeling ill from the heat or something, grab some shade.’"
Pool-goers and Dickie-Dee drivers alike will have to brace for more hot temperatures — the weekend forecast calls for temperatures in the high 20s.