Starting tonight, temperatures in Mississippi will drop into the single digits in some areas. MPB’s Evelina Burnett reports, from north to south, shelters are opening their doors to those who need a warm place to stay.
Temperatures are expected to fall sharply later today as a cold front moves through the state. Steve Wilkinson with the National Weather Service in Jackson says temps are expected to dip into the teens throughout Mississippi.
"Combined with that will be strong winds gusting maybe to 30 mph Wednesday night particularly," he says. "That will lead to wind chills pretty close to zero by daybreak certainly in the north, single digits to about 10 (degrees) on the coast."
Laura Bianco with the Salvation Army says they expect to have their shelters in Pascagoula and Gulfport open for most of this week. She says the shelter is critical to survival for many of the people who stay there. Almost exactly a year ago, a homeless man died of hypothermia while staying in a tent in Gulfport.
"And so it's very important that we are able to open our doors and allow them to come in," she says. "It's not just people who live on the street. It's also people who may not have heat in their home. We've had families come in because they don't have a heater and they need somewhere else to say, so it could be life-threatening if they stay out in the cold elements."
Cold weather shelters are also open in other parts of the Gulf Coast and the state.