Heating aid demand up in long, cold winter
The length and depth of the winter on P.E.I. has created more requests for assistance from people struggling to heat their homes.
Bob Gallant of York had a large pile of wood cut to warm his house this winter, but it's all gone now. He has gathered a pile of old wooden pallets and other scraps to burn.
"Can't be choosy," said Gallant. "You take what you can get,"
Gallant thought he had cut enough, but the early start to winter, and the depth of the cold, caught him off guard. Heavy snowfall in December has meant he is not able to get back into the woods to cut more.
"That's the way it turned out and I've been scrambling for whatever I could," he said.
The Salvation Army in Charlottetown runs a home heating assistance program that will buy people a tank of heating oil once a year. Capt. Jamie Locke said demand for the program is especially high this year.
"What we're seeing is folks who we've already assisted in January, due to the struggle they are now facing, saying, 'I know I've already been assisted, but is there a chance that you may be able to help me again,' said Locke.
"[It's been] a particularly cold winter, and it started early and it seems to be carrying long."
The Salvation Army is hearing stories of people using their kitchen stoves and ovens to heat their houses.
March has been no better than the rest of the winter, with another cold snap this week that saw temperatures stay below -10C for more than three days. There will be some relief Friday, with temperatures forecast to reach 0C.