An Emergency Warming Center will be open from 9 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday Jan. 14 at the Crossroads Church, 707 Commercial St., in Raymond.
A warming center will also open in Astoria at 7 p.m. at the First Methodist Church, 1076 Franklin Ave. The entrance is on the 11th Street side of the church building. The Astoria warming center operates on a first come, first serve basis and can serve up to 35 people.
The National Weather Service is predicting a chance of rain and snow showers before 10 p.m. in Southwest Washington, with a chance of rain showers. Temperatures are expected to reach a low around 31 degrees.
Pacific County Emergency Management Agency Director Scott McDougall said a warming center will not be open on the Long Beach Peninsula for the evening of Jan. 14. He said there was enormous effort on the part of a number of entities to open one on the peninsula on Tuesday, but all the pieces did not come together. Grays Harbor College in Ilwaco offered up its building as a location for the center, but the needed staff and supplies were not available to create a safe warming center.
While the county doesn't have a policy on when to open Emergency Warming Shelter, McDougall said on days when the temperature doesn’t get above 35 degrees, he wanted there to be somewhere for people to get warm.
Warming centers are not meant to act as shelters, McDougall said.
“They are for people who are by necessity living out in the cold,” McDougall Said. “I want to make sure that when we have a situation where it doesn’t get above freezing for an extended period of time, that we have a place for them to be warm be safe overnight.”
This is the Emergency Management Agency’s first attempt to establish Emergency Warming Shelters in McDougall’s memory. He is hopeful next time there is a temperature drop the agency will be able to establish a warming center in the south end of the peninsula.