It’s going to stay cold for a while.
Temperatures are not expected to get higher than 41 this week, with lows hovering in the 20s, according to the National Weather Service in Columbia, S.C. The low Tuesday was 19.
A warming trend is expected to begin Sunday, with the high forecast at 49. The low will finally get above freezing at 35.
The cold weather is prompting the Salvation Army of Augusta to implement its special weather plan for its Center of Hope shelter on 1384 Greene St. John Sebby, director of development for the local branch, said that the shelter is operating at capacity and has put out overflow mats for extra people in need of shelter.
“We have been operating at maximum capacity, but are committed to not turn away any one in need of shelter,” Sebby said. “Late last night the Richmond County Sheriffs brought in a homeless man, where we found some space in our community room. The normal policy regarding limit of stays per month will be lifted until this bitterly cold weather breaks.”
Capacity at the shelter is 130 and Sebby said that they have been putting down 12 to 16 mats per night for overflow. He said the normal policy on limit of stays – seven free nights each month then $7 per night after that – has been suspended during the cold snap. Sebby said the shelter, which allows free stays when temperatures get below freezing, is letting women and children stay there during the day because of the cold.
“We do the same for extreme heat or any extreme weather, such as snow or sleet,” he said.
The Salvation Army is also asking for monetary contributions and other donations to help the homeless during the cold weather. Among the most needed items are hand warmers, pillows, pillow cases, blankets, towels and soap, it stated in a news release.
Donations can be dropped off at the Center of Hope between 9-11:30 a.m and 12:30-4 p.m. Monday to Friday.