Weather

Locals brave record cold; warming centers open

 SA-ColdWeather
U.S. postal carrier Kim Rees walks her route Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, along York Street in sub-zero temperatures. Referring to the weather, Rees says "I'm almost hot right now, you just have to know how to layer." | H-W Photo/Michael Kipley
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jan. 3, 2018 9:00 am

QUINCY -- A little over a month ago, Quincy saw a record high of 71 degrees.

That was Nov. 24.

Quincy broke another record Tuesday, this time for the lowest recorded Jan. 2 temperature, which was measured at 12 degrees below zero, according to Weather.com. Several other records were broken Tuesday across the Midwest -- from 23 degrees below zero in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to 21 degrees below zero in Pierre, S.D.

Although the sun was shining Tuesday, temperatures peaked in the teens and are expected to remain there until they dip back down to single digits again Thursday. The frigid weather break Saturday, when the thermometer is expected to rise up to 25 degrees, and temperatures are expected to climb as high as 40 degrees Sunday.

Several agencies and organizations open their doors to the public in cases of extreme weather. The Kroc Center, 405 Vermont, is among the facilities acting as a warming center for community members seeking shelter from the cold.

"Having a place where you know you can go to, where you'll be safe and warm, there's no amount you can put on that," Salvation Army Maj. Andrew Miller said. "This gives people a place where they feel secure."

Each Salvation Army across the country acts as a warming center in its community. The Kroc Center becomes a warming center once the temperature drops below 32 degrees.

Miller said getting an accurate count of people who take advantage of the Kroc can be difficult.

"You don't really know," he said. "They're just hanging out like everyone else."

When the cold is particularly bitter -- as it has been the last few days -- Miller said he does see a bit of a spike in the number of people at the Kroc.

The Kroc Center is open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. The Salvation Army Emergency Shelter is always open.

"It's important for us to always look for ways we can meet human needs," Miller said.

Also serving as warming centers in Quincy during their regular hours are the Illinois Department of Human Services office at 300 Maine, the Quincy Senior and Family Resource Center at 639 York, and Horizons Social Services at 224 S. Eighth. Hours at each location vary.

The Missouri Department of Health and Human Service also says there are warming centers at the Hannibal Nutrition Center at 219 S. 10th St., the Ewing Senior Center at 101 Bryan St., the Monroe City Senior Nutrition Center at 314 S. Main St., the Palmyra Nutrition Center at 219 W. Ross St., the Perry Nutrition Center at 105 Palmyra St., the Canton Senior Citizens Center at 800 Montgomery St., and the Hill Top Senior Center at 905 Jefferson St. in LaGrange.

Anyone in need of emergency accommodations can call the Salvation Army Emergency Shelter at 217-222-8655.

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