1 taken to ER during Vancouver Island's first summer heatwave
Published Tuesday, June 28, 2022 10:40AM PDT Last Updated Tuesday, June 28, 2022 10:40AM PDT
After a long and cold spring, a recent heatwave on Vancouver Island seemed to be welcomed by many, and fortunately it appears to have been less dangerous than last year's fatal heat dome.
Health risks and temperatures this weekend were lower than when the heat dome peaked last year, bringing temperatures to near 40 degrees on Vancouver Island on June 27 and 28, 2021.
According to Environment Canada, temperatures reached highs near 30 C over the weekend in Victoria.
On Saturday, the highest temperature in Victoria was 29.2 C, on Sunday temperatures reached 30.8 C, and on Monday temperatures hit a high of 29.5 C, according to the weather organization.
Island Health tells CTV News that one person was brought to an island emergency room for heat-related reasons over the weekend, while the BC Coroners Service says no deaths related to heat were confirmed as of Monday.
It's a far cry from the 55 people who died of heat-related reasons on Vancouver Island during the heat dome last year. Across the province, 619 people are believed to have died due to heat-related illnesses in late June and early July 2021, according to the BC Coroners Service.
AIR-CONDITIONER SALES SPIKE
In general, Vancouver Island residents who spoke with CTV News on Monday said they felt better informed and better prepared for this year's heat wave.
While temperatures weren't set to break records, staff at the New Horizons senior centre in James Bay took extra steps to ensure peoples safety.
"We're more aware that people are alone or not necessarily going out," said Kim Dixon with New Horizon. "So we do a little checkup system."
Our Place also took steps to prepare for the heat, as homeless people can be vulnerable to extreme temperatures.
Grant Mackenzie, director of communications for Our Place, says the removal of COVID restrictions allowed for more people to come into its air-conditioned spaces.
"We can have well over 100 people into our drop-in space, which is air conditioned and is cool," he said.
Peter Fargey with Ross Bay Home Hardware says air-conditioning units have also been flying off the shelves since January.
"We probably have sold more air conditioners this year than we've sold in the last 10 years," he said.