New Haven braces for brutal cold, activates cold weather protocol

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — As the arctic air takes over, we are heading into the coldest night of the season. So far, leading cities like New Haven to activate cold weather protocol for those needing a place to go.

They’re expecting a packed house Thursday night inside the warming center at New Haven’s Bethel AME Church on Goffe Street. Where, thanks to many donations and partnerships, they provide more than just a warm place with a hot meal for those in need.

“So a lot of times people who are in a particular situation, they make appointments to get help and can’t make it. So what we try to do is actually bring those services here to them,” said Meredith Benson, outreach program director at Bethel A.M.E. “And they can have their (issues) taken care of right here.”

For the first time this season, New Haven activated its cold-weather protocol. They’re expecting about 30 hours of brutal cold.

“Our goal is to not have anybody outside during these dangerously brutal temperatures,” said Rick Fontana, Emergency Operations director for New Haven.

All of the public libraries also serve as daytime warming centers. Police were instructed to transport anyone needing a ride to one of the centers to escape the cold. With high winds expected, more power outages could occur. The city’s Livable City Initiative is on stand-by.

“Our LCI Department utilizes oil heaters. So we can bring electric oil heaters out to your home,” Fontana said. “Anyone who loses their heat.”

Warming centers open at 10 p.m. If you need any type of assistance, call 211.

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