Manitobans trying to beat the heat during heatwave

WINNIPEG — Southern Manitoba is in the midst of a heatwave which means residents are trying to find ways to beat the heat.

The province has made some changes to the public health orders to help people cool down by opening splash pads and wading pools.

Winnipeggers like Demi Olagunju made sure to take advantage of the health order changes as he took his daughter to one of the splash pads on Friday.

“Unfortunately due to the lockdown a lot of pools are shut down, so I figured since they open up the splash pad, I’d bring her and have a good time,” he said.

Environment Canada issued an extreme heat warning for most of the southern part of the province, which is expected to continue into the weekend.

Opening splash pads aren’t the only changes to the public health orders,

“Municipalities are temporarily permitted to repurpose facilities such as libraries and community centres as cooling centres for vulnerable people who may not otherwise have the means to cool off during the heatwave,” said Jazz Atwal, the deputy chief provincial public health officer.

Atwal added the splash pads are for people who don’t have a pool, sprinkler or air conditioning at home and they shouldn’t be used for a family outing.

A cooling tent has been set up in Central Park by the City of Winnipeg, staffed by the Downtown Community Safety Partnership.

Derek Manaigre, the director of the partnership, said there is shade for people and free water is there for anyone who needs it.

“About 600 bottles yesterday, I believe could be off by a few dozen there, and it wasn’t nearly as hot as today already, so I don’t know what today will be. Probably 1,000 or more today,” said Manaigre.

The Emergency Management Coordinator for Winnipeg said the city has also set up four water tanks throughout Winnipeg so people can fill up water bottles and free water will be available at libraries.

Winnipeg wasn’t the only place in the province feeling the heat as Morden, Gretna and Emerson all reached above 40 C Friday, according to Environment Canada. Winnipeg, Morden, Gretna, Carman and Pilot Mound all broke heat records as they had higher temperatures at 3 p.m. than their previous records. The records will be confirmed by Environment Canada on Saturday.

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