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Brrr-utal weather taking its toll

A student makes his way across the sidewalks on campus at Brandon University on Monday morning.

BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN Enlarge Image

A student makes his way across the sidewalks on campus at Brandon University on Monday morning.

For the second day in a row, Brandon School Division buses won’t be running outside of the city due to arctic-like conditions.

Pulling his belongings on a toboggan, a pedestrian makes his way downtown along Rosser Avenue in the frigid temperatures on Monday.

Enlarge Image

Pulling his belongings on a toboggan, a pedestrian makes his way downtown along Rosser Avenue in the frigid temperatures on Monday. (BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN)

A Bobcat loader was used to clear the snow from the sidewalks at Brandon University on Monday.

Enlarge Image

A Bobcat loader was used to clear the snow from the sidewalks at Brandon University on Monday. (BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN)

BSD made the announcement via its Twitter account (@BrandonMBSD) shortly after 4 p.m. yesterday.

"It is simply too cold and for the safety of students because if anything happened to one of the buses, with the way it is with the wind chill it is under eight minutes for frostbite to set in," BSD spokeswoman Kelli Boklaschuk said.

The division also had the alert up on their website within moments blaming the bus cancellation on "the excessive and continuous cold temperatures."

According to The Weather Network, Brandon was under a wind chill warning through last night.

Temperatures are supposed to range between -24 C to -31 C, but after the wind is factored in it could push the windchill to -40 C this morning.

Temperatures are expected to remain cold tomorrow as well, with a low of -35 C, before warming up on Thursday through the weekend with temperatures closer to seasonal normals.

Some parents chose to bring their children to school, Boklaschuk said, but it’s all based on parental discretion.

A total of 14 school divisions in Manitoba shuttered the doors completely yesterday, while another 13 pulled buses off the road.

Another school, Ecole Riverview in Winnipeg, closed after the heating system broke.

It’s the first time this school year that BSD has cancelled any services.

Wait times for a tow or a boost stretched as long as three hours for the majority of calls in Brandon, according to Liz Peters with CAA Manitoba.

"As the day went on we saw an increased number of calls in Brandon and surrounding area," she said.

December was an outstanding month for cold, setting records for cold temperatures and it has trickled into the new year.

"We served more members in the month of December than we have served in any month in the past decade," Peters said.

A total of 20,200 members were served during the frigid conditions of December, while the previous record was 18,800.

"In the first six days of January, we’ve already served close to 5,000 members," she said.

"The colder it is, the more people are going to call us."

Some people have had to use the service two or three times a week, she said.

Once the car is back running on the road, drivers are dealing with slippery conditions.

City of Brandon crews were busy clearing roads near 34th Street, working west from Pacific to Aberdeen Avenue yesterday, according to spokesperson Allison Collins.

Today, equipment will move to the area from First Street west to 18th Street, from Victoria to Richmond Avenue.

» ctweed@brandonsun.com

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition January 7, 2014

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For the second day in a row, Brandon School Division buses won’t be running outside of the city due to arctic-like conditions.

BSD made the announcement via its Twitter account (@BrandonMBSD) shortly after 4 p.m. yesterday.

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For the second day in a row, Brandon School Division buses won’t be running outside of the city due to arctic-like conditions.

BSD made the announcement via its Twitter account (@BrandonMBSD) shortly after 4 p.m. yesterday.

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