Cold snap continues to put Peninsula on ice; room at shelters available

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

With overnight temperatures forecast to drop into the low 20s and teens this weekend, emergency overnight shelters are expected to have plenty of space for those who need to get out of the cold.

That was the word from shelter operators in Clallam and Jefferson counties Thursday.

The National Weather Service said lowland North Olympic Peninsula temperatures from the current Arctic blast are certain to be in the low 20s in the early morning hours Saturday and Sunday.

And there’s the possibility of the mercury dipping to 18 or 19 degrees.

Even during the days, highs are not expected to top 32 degrees.

Even worse: Winds of up to 20 mph forecast Saturday could bring a dangerous wind chill of 13 degrees, said Kirby Cook, meteorologist with the Weather Service’s Seattle office.

People who must be outdoors during the unusually frigid weather should be cautious and dress in warm layers, he added.

There’s also the danger of exposed water pipes bursting, he said.

Residents should check exposed pipes, disconnect garden hoses from spigots and make sure those hoses are empty of water.

Additionally, short-coat pets should be brought indoors, and animals and livestock more suited to the outdoors need to have shelter and additional warmth and feedings, Cook said.

Above-freezing temperatures, especially at night, aren’t expected until toward the end of next week, when warmer rain is forecast for Wednesday through next Friday.

Serenity House has opened an emergency warming station during the cold snap from
1 p.m. to 4 p.m. daily at 516 E. First St., Port Angeles.

“It will be open while the cold snap continues,” said Kathy Wahto, executive director of Serenity House.

The warming station also has laundry facilities and showers that are open from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.

There are several shelters across the Peninsula for people who do not have homes or have inadequately heated homes:

Port Angeles

■ The Street Outreach Shelter at 520 E. First St., Port Angeles, is open from 8 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.

■ The Single Adult Shelter, 2321 W. 18th St., Port Angeles, provides a safe place for up to 40 adults to sleep.

■ Hill House is a shelter for women only, located at the corner of 11th and C streets.

■ Individuals or couples with children younger than 18 cannot stay in the adult shelters, Wahto said.

Families in need of shelter should contact the Housing Resource Center at 535 E. First St. in Port Angeles

Sequim

■ The Housing Resource Center is at 203 N. Sequim Ave. in Sequim.

Port Townsend

■ The Port Townsend Winter Shelter in the basement of the American Legion Hall at 209 Monroe St. is open from 4 p.m. to 8 a.m. daily.

It has beds for 23 men and eight women, said Kathy Morgan, housing program manager for Olympic Community Action Programs, or OlyCAP.

Check-in is from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Additional beds can be added if there is need for them, Morgan said.

The winter shelter in Port Townsend is operated by the Community Outreach Association Shelter Team, or COAST; several churches; other community partners; and OlyCAP.

Forks

■ In Forks, there are no planned shelter openings, though in an emergency, the Forks City Hall lobby is open 24 hours for those who are in danger of freezing, said Rod Fleck, city attorney-planner.

■ The Housing Resource Center operates an office at 91 Maple Ave. in Forks.

Also in Clallam County, Serenity House Family Shelter Services has eight apartment units for families and can shelter additional families in hotels as needed, Wahto said.

_________

Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: December 05. 2013 7:27PM
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