Shelter available during freezing temps

Published 10:32 am Thursday, January 4, 2018

The Middlesboro City Council took action Wednesday to provide a place for those who need shelter from extremely cold temperatures.

At the urging of councilman Lucas Carter, other council members signed on to hold a special-called meeting to discuss the issue. The council discussed making the Civic Center into a “temporary warming station.”

“If anyone needs shelter or to warm, we will open the community center immediately,” Carter said. “Police are out looking for those people and asking if they need assistance.”

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He added that anyone needing assistance or knows of someone needing assistance may call 606-248-2020.

“I suggested opening one night to see what kind of attendance we may have, but they thought it was best to wait and see if anyone called,” he said.

Carter said as of Wednesday evening only one person had called, and Cooperative Christian Ministry (CCM) helped that person.

The National Weather Service in Jackson posted a forecast for another round of bitterly cold air over eastern Kentucky through Wednesday of next week.

“The risk of frostbite and hypothermia will be increased if precautions are not taken,” it said. “In addition, poorly protected water pipes will be at continued risk of freezing. Make arrangements for outdoor pets and livestock to keep them sheltered.”

The NWS added that there is an enhanced risk of frostbite and hypothermia if precautions are not taken. A special weather warning advised “If venturing outside, only do so for a short amount of time. Remember to wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, and warm clothing. Cover and protect your head because this is where the majority of your body heat is lost. Stay dry and sheltered from the wind, if possible.”

The warning went on to state, “Bring pets indoors and ensure livestock have adequate shelter and access to unfrozen water. Check on neighbors and the elderly. If using a space heater, remember to keep it at least three feet away from flammable material. Do not use charcoal or propane grills indoors to prevent toxic air from building up.”

“We just are trying to spread the word and have the community spread it that there are resources and no one will freeze under our watch if they contact us,” Carter said. “Same goes for power outages.”