BC Housing has issued an “Extreme Weather Alert” for Langley.
It says the Gateway of Hope shelter will be open tonight.
An alert is also up for Maple Ridge.
More snow is in the forecast for parts of Metro Vancouver.
— Mark Madryga (@MMadryga) December 23, 2016
— clickerchicks (@clickerchics) December 23, 2016
More shelters, warming centres to open
The cold and wet weather has prompted several Metro Vancouver cities to take action.
In addition to Langley, Vancouver and Maple Ridge are all opening emergency shelter spaces this evening.
Jeremy Hunka with the Union Gospel Mission says the conditions are a perfect storm for those on the street.
“When there’s this much moisture in the air it feels colder and especially if you’re outside with no shelter it really sinks into your system, so you feel the coldness in your bones, you feel it in your lungs every time you breathe, it’s in your feet. You just can’t warm up.”
“Things can snowball pretty quickly from just a light sickness to something more serious. Pneumonia is possible, and in extreme cases the cold weather can be fatal to people who live on the street.”
The city of Vancouver is also reopening its new “warming centres” through the Creekside and Britannia community centres which are open overnight but don’t provide beds.