Andrew Kornelsen uses a snow shovel as a goalie stick while playing a game of shinny with Klay Larocque and Brad Laughlin on the Camp Slough near Camp River and Jesperson roads on Saturday afternoon. That day was the fourth consecutive day of record-breaking temperatures in Chilliwack.

Chilly in Chilliwack but no big call for shelter

You wouldn’t know it from looking out the window this week.Chilliwack was four days into a record-breaking cold snap by Saturday night, and still the snow kept falling.The mercury dipped to a chilly -8.1 degrees Celsius, said Environment Canada’s volunteer weather observer Roger Pannett of Chilliwack. That’s more than nine degrees below normal.It only rose to -1.2 C, netting a low mean record of -4.65 C, which made it the fifth record-low temperature of the cold snap.Not only was it chilly in the ‘Wack, but there was also ample snowfall recorded for the month of February up to Sunday night, with 22.6 cm, compared to a 30-year average for Chilliwack of only 17 cm.From all accounts Chilliwack managed pretty well despite the late blast of the wintery wet stuff.By Friday, City of Chilliwack officials had spent about $440,000 of a total of $872,000 for the 2011 winter budget. Unless there are some major storms coming in the next few weeks, the balance should be plenty to carry them through to next November or December, according to city staff.City crews worked overnight and into Sunday plowing snow and treating the roads with a salt brine mixture. With all the city’s snow removal equipment in action, it cost about $20,000 to deal with the weekend snowfall, estimated city staff.But in spite of the record-breaking cold, there was little call for emergency shelter spaces at the Sally Ann, said Ian Pratt, coordinator of community ministries.“We were a little surprised there’s been no demand,” he said.“It is possible more people are doing the couch surfing thing.”The Sally Ann opened up its soup kitchen space and got some extra cots ready, but there was no increase in the numbers who showed up at the Salvation Army Care and Share Centre.This is despite the fact that December, January and February were all fairly busy, Pratt said. Right now they’re at about 80 per cent capacity in the shelter.But if they needed them, they could open up as many as 100 more spaces on a emergency basis.“One thing is that we do have a need for thrift store items right now, including good quality, clean clothing. Over the winter months it gets very quiet.”

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