Mother Nature delivers wintery blast | DrumhellerMail
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Last updateFri, 17 May 2024 12pm

Mother Nature delivers wintery blast

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Many Albertans were struggling this past week while temperatures dipped to almost -50 degrees with the wind chill factored in. A number of residents in Drumheller kept heating and plumbing technicians busy with service calls due to their furnaces quitting or pipes freezing.
To say Randy Hardy with TKNT Mechanical has been busy this past week is an understatement. He can’t even guess how many calls he has received since the temps dropped but estimates around 20 calls on the weekend alone. He enjoys helping people as much as possible and has done his best to keep up with the demand, but the calls are non-stop.
“It’s just on and on. I do my best to help people in need but people should be better prepared,” says Hardy. “Make sure you have extra filters for your furnace, and it is operating properly. Any holes in your house, plug them off and have extra electric heaters on hand. Also, in the case of a power outage make sure you have plenty of provisions stocked.”
Many residents are asking for car battery boosts or towings. According to AMA’s website, as of Monday, January 15, 2024, wait times for Drumheller are two hours long.
Brad LeDrew, General Sales Manager for Western GM Drumheller, spoke to the Mail about the free rides they offer to residents when temperatures dip below -30 degrees. This is the fifth year they have done this and you don’t have to be a customer to receive a ride.
“Dozens and dozens of rides have been given out since Thursday, and we have continued offering them daily for as long as the weather remains this cold,” says LeDrew, “Our service department has also changed dozens and dozens of car batteries in the last week.”
Just like with their homes, people need to be prepared with their vehicles in these frigid temps, especially with their batteries. “Because modern vehicles have so many electronics, including advanced safety systems and sos systems (like OnStar), they are constantly drawing energy from your battery, twenty-four-seven. So, when you get into the minus thirties, and your battery is four or five years old, it’s basically no good anymore,” states LeDrew, “The way you can help when it’s cold like this, is to connect a ‘Trickle-Charger’ onto your battery overnight. It’s only going to put a volt or two into your battery to keep it topped up. The other critical thing is to make sure your block or pan heater is plugged in.”
Drumheller’s RCMP Staff Sergeant Robert Harms tells the Mail only one call directly related to the cold weather was received on Thursday, January 14, 2024. At approximately 1:30 p.m., RCMP received an iPhone S.O.S and OnStar S.O.S that a motorist travelling from Saskatchewan to Drumheller was stranded without fuel near Dorothy, AB. The motorist was dressed properly for the weather, so there were minimal safety concerns, and a tow truck was dispatched to assist the driver. Harms states that all motorists should plan ahead during the cold and extreme weather season.


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