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Officials Preparing For Brutally Cold Weather, Opening Warming Shelters Across Area

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- State and local officials are preparing in a number of different ways for the bitterly cold temperatures that are moving into Pennsylvania.

Temperatures are expected to continue falling throughout the day with dangerously cold wind chills on Wednesday and Thursday.

Officials with the City of Pittsburgh say several Citiparks recreation centers and senior centers will open as warming shelters for anyone who needs them.

The recreation centers include:

  • Jefferson Recreation Center open till 8 p.m.
  • Ammon Recreation Center open till 8 p.m.
  • Paulson Recreation Center open till 8 p.m.
  • Ormsby Recreation Center open till 8 p.m.
  • Warrington Recreation Center open till 8 p.m.
  • Magee Recreation Center open till 9 p.m.
  • West Penn Recreation Center open till 9 p.m.
  • Brookline Recreation Center open till 9 p.m.
  • Phillips Community Recreation Center open till 9 p.m.

For more information on all of these facilities, visit the city's website here.

The senior centers include:

  • Greenfield at 745 Greenfield Ave., extended hours till 9 p.m.
  • Homewood at 7321 Frankstown Ave., extended hours till 9 p.m.
  • Sheraden at 720 Sherwood Ave., extended hours till 9 p.m.
  • South Side at 12th & Bingham St., extended hours till 9 p.m.

In addition, Pittsburgh Police will be checking on the area homeless during the cold snap, and shelters will have their doors open for those in need of help.

Shelters include:

  • Downtown Low Barrier Shelter, Smithfield United Church of Christ, 620 Smithfield St. Extended hours this week only from 6 p.m.-8 a.m. Monday-Friday, and 6 p.m.-10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
  • Catholic Charities Day/Warming Program, 212 Ninth St. Regular hours 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Monday-Saturday.
  • Wellspring Drop In Center, 903 Watson St. Regular hours 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • King of Kings Baptist Ministry, 5169 Broad Street, Garfield

Also, the Light of Life Rescue Mission will have their warming gate and chapel open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. with winter accessories, snacks and hot chocolate available for anyone who needs to warm up. Their emergency shelter will be open overnight as always.

Warming centers scheduled to open in Lawrence County include:

  • Ellwood City Fire Dept – 411 6th St, Ellwood City, PA 16117.
  • Ellwood City Free Methodist Church, 412 Glen Ave, Ellwood City.
  • Risen Savior Christian Church – 800 Crescent Ave, Ellwood City.
  • Wampum Volunteer Fire Department – 709 Church St, Wampum.
  • Disability Options Network / DON Services – 831 Harrison St, New Castle.

For additional information on shelters in the city,

It's a new tool to help residents find warming shelters and other resources. You can select services based on your age and gender, and then click to find the information you need.

City officials also say the Schenley Ice Skating Rink will be closed on Wednesday and Thursday, along with Construction Junction in North Point Breeze.

The Public Works Department is expected to continue garbage collection as normal; however, if temperatures become extremely unsafe, it will be delayed by a day or two, or till the weekend.

EMS and River Rescue crews will be standby for anyone in need of help. And, city officials are telling pet owners to bring their animals inside. Humane officers will be on patrol while the cold temperatures linger.

Fire Bureau officials are warning residents to exercise fire safety with space heaters, and not to use kitchen appliances to heat up your home.

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Gov. Tom Wolf is also urging residents to take precautions against the cold.

In a press release, he says: "As always, safety for Pennsylvanians and travelers to our state is my priority. And dangerously cold weather means staying inside as much as possible, paying attention to weather forecasts, and checking on friends and neighbors, especially the elderly."

Finally, other shelters are opening or extending their hours across the region.

In Beaver County, the Crossroads Shelter in Beaver Falls will be opening at 5 p.m. instead of 7 p.m. from Tuesday through Friday.

In Westmoreland County, the Salvation Army is opening a warming shelter on Schoonmaker Avenue in Monessen. Both people and pets are welcome. An overflow shelter is also being opened at the Monessen Civic Center on Donner Avenue.

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