Latest Cold Spell Alters Plans, Adds Warming Shelters

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MADISON, Ala.(WHNT)-The latest wave of brutal cold is forcing many businesses and government entities to cut back on some services while adding others.

This week’s cold spell is throwing a curveball to road crews in Madison, who were bracing for the harsh conditions on Monday. Public Works Department Spokesman Mike Gentle told WHNT News 19 that a few road widening and capital improvement projects currently underway may be delayed until the cold snap breaks. Gentle said the risk of hypothermia for employees working in open-cab vehicles is a primary concern, with wind chills projected to be near or at zero Tuesday morning.

“We have to be careful,” said Gentle. “If you’re out exposed in this weather for over 30 minutes you could get hypothermia or frostbite…We’ll still be out. Might not be as fast as a normal day, but we’ll still be going on.”

Just a few miles away volunteers were preparing to open Madison’s first-ever warming shelter. Officials at Inside-Out Ministires said blankets, sleeping bags and a healthy mix of hot chocolate and hot soup were ready to go Monday night.

“Our main thing is to keep people warm tonight,” said Curtis Ellington, a volunteer at the shelter. “There are no questions asked, we just want to make sure people have a warm place to be.”

Inside-Out Ministries said they welcome anyone in need to come by the warming shelter, which is located at 103 Gin Oaks Court in Madison. The shelter is open from 8 p.m. Monday until 8 a.m. Tuesday.

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