TANGIPAHOA PARISH, LA (WAFB) - With temperatures expected to drop into the 20s and 30s in the coming days, organizations and officials have started opening warming shelters for people bracing for unrelenting cold.
Baton Rouge Salvation Army Command Officer, Major Brett Meredith said that a limited number of beds and hot meals are available to men without shelter at The Salvation Army Center of Hope at 7361 Airline Highway in Baton Rouge.
"With the extreme cold weather conditions developing over the next week, The Salvation Army's Center of Hope is open for warming during the day and a safe place to spend the night. Cold weather shelter and a hot meal will be offered until the temperature reaches 40 degrees," said Major Meredith. "We will do everything we can to make sure those who have nowhere else to stay will be warm, well fed, and safe at The Salvation Army."
Men in need of shelter should check in at the Center of Hope building, which is situated behind the Salvation Army Offices and Family Store at 7361 Airline Highway.
Officials in Tangipahoa parish announced that they'll be opening warming shelters at three sites from Sunday until Thursday, as temperatures are expected to be especially cold.
Parish President Robby Miller said that the National Weather Service advised his office that temperatures would be at or below freezing for periods of 15 to 21 hours daily.
"These are extremely cold conditions that we typically do not experience in South Louisiana, and we are concerned that our residents are not equipped for four days of extended cold, as has been forecast," Miller said.
The parish has partnered with Crossgate Church in Robert and Brown's Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in the Village of Tangipahoa, both of which will serve as warming centers starting Sunday at 8 p.m. The parish will also utilize the second floor of their new EOC headquarters in Amite as a warming center, the same building they used during the snowfalls earlier this month.
"On behalf of our entire team Tangipahoa family, the parish council, and especially our residents, I'd like to thank Rev. Funchess and Pastor Husser for opening their doors to the community during this weather emergency," Miller said. "These are extremely cold conditions that we typically do not experience in south Louisiana, and we are concerned that our residents are not equipped for four days of extended cold, as has been forecast."
There is concern that a potential power outage might put families in danger of exposure to the record cold. The homeless are also welcome at these shelters. People checking into the warming centers should bring any clothing, toiletries, and medicine they need during their stay. House pets may be brought to the warming centers, but they will be sheltered off-site, according to Miller.
The warming centers will open at 8 p.m. Sunday and be in place through Thursday morning.
Locations for these centers are as follows:
Crossgate Church – 985-507-7988
22494 Hwy 190
Robert, LA 70455
Brown's Chapel Missionary Baptist Church – 985-514-6099
40427 Martin Luther King Dr.
Kentwood, LA 70444
Tangipahoa Parish EOC/Saferoom 2nd Floor - 985-748-2269
114 N. Laurel St.
Amite, LA 70422