That just about sums up the record-breaking cold snap on Prince Edward Island Wednesday.
Linda Libby, meteorologist with Environment Canada, told The Guardian it was the coldest Jan. 23 on record, breaking the old mark which had stood 66 years.
Back in 1947, daytime temperatures reached no higher than -15.6 degrees Celsius. The high on Wednesday peaked at -17.3 degrees Celsius.
“Everything was aligned to make things cold today,’’ Libby said. “It’s coming up from the Arctic islands down across the Prairies, crossing Ontario and Quebec and finally pushed its way into the Maritimes.’’
That’s the technical description of conditions that kept Islanders inside on Wednesday, or at least wishing they were inside.
It was so cold the Department of Transportation pulled its highway crews off a project on the Charlottetown side of the Hillsborough Bridge just before noon.
“Work has stopped for the day on the bridge,’’ a department spokesman said. “Obviously, it’s cold out there, particularly on the water and for the safety of employees work has stopped for the day.’’
The cold also kept some construction crews at home. One worker, who was part of a crew building a home in eastern P.E.I., said work was halted because of the cold temperatures and wind chill.
Lots of dog owners were lamenting the bone-chilling weather. One Charlottetown woman said her dog could only stand to be outside for three minutes, even with a dog parka on.
But there were a few brave souls working outside on Wednesday.
Don McGregor, a commissionaire with the City of Charlottetown, said he was extremely busy writing tickets for meter violations.
“(I’m issuing a ticket) for every second or third car where I would normally go a number of cars before (writing a ticket),’’ McGregor said. “People either assume we’re not out here or it’s too cold for them to run out (and put money in the meter).’’
Most people The Guardian talked to said the city doesn’t normally ticket when the weather is so cold.
“Why are you guys working in this weather. God man, you’re going to freeze,’’ one woman roared at the commissionaire.
The City of Charlottetown said the meter men are out just about every business day. McGregor said the only days he’s not patrolling from Queen to Prince streets is “if it’s blowing snow or if it’s raining too heavy.’’
Classes went ahead as per normal at Island schools on Wednesday.
Cooper’s Towing Service in Charlottetown was busy. One employee said they boosted at least 25 vehicles on Wednesday. They normally boost an average of two to three vehicles per day during the winter.
John Cummings, with the English Language School Board, said children are kept inside the schools during things like recess if the wind chill dips below -20 degrees but there is no established criteria for closing schools because of the cold.
Schools in northern and central New Brunswick were closed on Wednesday when the wind chill dropped as low as -41 degrees.
Not everyone was lamenting the brisk temperatures. It seems nothing inspires people to head south like cold weather.
Travis Stewart, operations manager with The Travel Store, said business was very busy on Wednesday.
“The phones have been ringing. The offices are seeing a noticeable increase (in bookings) over the last couple of days,’’ Stewart said, adding that he was having a hard time reaching people at the company’s other offices because the lines were busy.
“They didn’t have time to talk.’’
For those not heading south, Libby says the Island will begin to see gradual relief from the cold beginning Saturday but it will probably be the first of next week before temperatures escape double-digit lows.