Homeowners across the country are reporting being forced to stay in their homes as temperatures plunge in a bid to stay warm, and with no water, heating and cooling.article title 5 things you need now as summer hits home in Calgary article With summer months drawing to a close, many Calgary residents are being forced into the city’s downtown and some neighbourhoods have been declared “dangerous” and inaccessible by police.
But the city isn’t the only city facing problems.
A new report from the Calgary Weather Centre (CWC) has found that as temperatures drop across the province, people are moving indoors to stay warmer and safer, including to apartments and condominiums.
The new report, published on Tuesday, said more than 40,000 people have been displaced by the drop in temperatures and that some 4.8 million homes are without heat, water and power.
“It’s a real crisis in terms of the number of people being forced out of their homes,” said Cindy MacNaughton, an organizer with the Calgary-based group Climate Calgary.
“We’ve seen it in many other cities around the province.
It’s a very serious situation and it’s impacting on the health of our citizens.””
I’ve been in some neighbourhoods that are completely isolated,” she said.”
I think it’s really hard to believe people are staying in their apartments in the summertime.”
The report, released by CPCC, says the number one problem is lack of heat and water.
The CPCC says it’s hard to keep track of the amount of people who are staying indoors because they aren’t registered with the city.
“The CPCP [Calgary Police Service] have been inundated with calls and calls are coming in about people staying indoors in their apartment,” said Jennifer Poulton, a spokesperson for the Calgary Police Service.
“We’re doing a lot of outreach and we’re really working to address the situation, but the majority of the calls are from people who have been unable to leave their homes due to the lack of cooling.”
She said police have seen a dramatic increase in calls for service.
“While it’s easy to say that a certain number of calls is a drop in the bucket, when you start looking at the number that has actually increased and the number where there has been a spike in calls, it’s clear there’s a problem,” she added.
The city says it has deployed extra staff to assist with calls.
Poulton says many of those calls aren’t being routed to the proper channels and are instead being forwarded to police for investigation.
“In the past, there’s been a lot more reporting that we’ve gotten in recent months,” she noted.
“They’re asking for information that we didn’t get at the time and that’s been frustrating.
People are frustrated and frustrated.”
Cameron Scott is living in a trailer park near the city centre.
He says the city hasn’t been helpful to his situation.
“You get calls, you get people who tell you they’ve lost power, they lost their heat and it doesn’t matter because they can’t get to the utility poles to try and find the right power,” he said.
Scott says the temperature has dropped to around -20C in some areas and to a chilly 15C in others.
“There’s not really much you can do about it,” he added.
“If you’re really lucky, you can get outside in the cold.”
The CPC report also notes that residents who are living outside have been told to leave by police or fire departments.CWC said that for those living in trailers, they have been given “limited options to leave” but have not been given the information to do so.
“If you live in a housing unit that is not adequately insulated, your neighbours will be able to heat your home with a few drops of water and heat your water supply if they have to, but you’ll have to put up with them,” said Poulson.CNW News asked the city about the issue.
A spokesperson said the city is working with the community and is providing a list of options for residents who wish to relocate.
“Residents have been offered a number of options and the city has made every effort to accommodate those residents in the interim,” the spokesperson said.
The City of Calgary also said in a statement that it has taken action to help residents.
“Our staff and the CPCC staff are working with residents to assist them in determining the best option to move,” said a spokesperson.
“All homes with heating systems, including trailers, are being inspected by a qualified, experienced and trained professional to ensure that they meet the city of Calgary standards.”
“We have also deployed a temporary power generator and are working to make sure that residents have access to that power during the summer months.”
While heat is still a challenge for many, there are many ways to get started in the winter.
For more information, visit the Calgary Public Health website.