Communities offer warming centers for brutal cold ahead

Important Tips: Safety Information for Extreme Cold »

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — With temperatures expected to drop to dangerous levels Wednesday night, a number of communities in Southern New England have opened warming centers to help residents combat the the cold.

An arctic front making its way east is expected to bring wind chills as low as 15-25 degrees below zero, with gusts up to 30-40 miles per hour. A Wind Chill Advisory is in effect until Thursday morning.

With temperatures that low, exposed skin can freeze in 30 minutes or less. To ensure the safety of all residents, a number of cities and towns are offering warming centers for anyone that gets stuck in the cold.

On a typical day, about 150 people visit the Leon Mathieu Senior Center in Pawtucket, but the director says there could be many more on Wednesday because it’s doubling as one of the city’s four warming centers.

“The doors are open for anyone who needs to get in and out of the cold,” said Mary Lou Moran. “They can get a cup of coffee or a cup of tea, also we have TV available, we have some activities going on throughout the day, so we welcome people to participate if they so choose.”

Seamen’s Church Institute in Newport will remain open 24 hours a day until late Friday to provide safe haven from the storm. Call (401) 847-4260 for more information.

If you have any elderly family members or neighbors, it’s important to check on them and make sure their heat is working and they’re warm enough to brave the wind chill.

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