Travel agents see surge in bookings as cold weather hits Vancouver Island

Travel agents see surge in bookings as cold weather hits Vancouver Island

WATCH: Forecasters are warning that another big blast of arctic air and snow is on the way for the South Coast Thursday and Friday. It comes in the wake of nearly a week of unseasonably cold temperatures on Vancouver Island and as Skye Ryan reports, while some struggle through it, others are looking to escape this frigid February altogether.

Bundled up in flapped hat and snow boots, Clem Remillard brought out treats for him cattle Wednesday as Nanaimo struggled for the fifth day in sub-zero cold.

“Now they’re going to go nuts for apples,” said the Nanaimo resident and realtor.

Their standard hay is being supplemented with apples, as Remillard tries to make the unseasonably cold temperatures a bit more bearable for his farm animals.

“The water’s frozen,” said Remillard.

“So [I am] breaking ice all the time.  I thought spring was here. The wind had come and gone, the damage was done but spring was here,” he said, shaking his head.

Nanaimo Public Works’ David Myles said he suspected winter wasn’t finished yet.

“You’re never in the clear in Nanaimo until you see March,” said Myles.

“And even sometimes you’ll get snow into April.”

Now a special weather statement has been issued by Environment Canada warning that even worse weather is on the way.

“Wait and see at this point,” said Myles.

“See if it’s just snow flurries that may not accumulate to anything or we end up getting a system that stalls and we get lost of snow which we can at times.”

“Yeah I’ve heard that the snow is coming Thursday and Friday,” said Maritime Travel agent Lyssa Marcil.

“So I’m expecting to be answering the phone and emails non stop.”

Marcil said the weather is inspiring a lot of California dreaming and bookings, as people seek sunny escapes from these February brrrrs.

She added business has picked up 30 to 40 per cent.”

“People aren’t used to the cold weather here,” she said.

The snow is expected to start falling Thursday night and impact areas from Greater Victoria to East and Inland Vancouver Island regions. Then new arctic air outflows are forecast to arrive Friday delivering wind chill values and reduced visibility in blowing snow.


Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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